HAVANA TIMES — Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for April 25th to May 2nd, 2014.
Palestinian lawyer dies due to Israeli army torture this week, meanwhile the United States remains hopeful that peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis would resume. These stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
The Nonviolence Report
Let’s begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities organized in the West Bank. On Friday six civilians were injured when Israeli troops attacked the anti-wall and settlements protests organized at West Bank villages.
Five civilians were injured and many others suffered effects of tear gas inhalation when troops attacked the weekly anti wall and settlements protest at the village of al Nabi Saleh.
Local residents said that troops attacked protesters before leaving the village and fired tear gas into nearby residents’ homes causing damage.
Israeli soldiers also invaded al Nabi Saleh and fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at local youth. All five injured were hit by rubber-coated steel bullets.
In the nearby Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters as soon as they reached the gate of the wall that separates local farmers from their lands. In Bil’in, one local youth was slightly wounded, meanwhile Many other protesters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation at both locations.
Meanwhile on Friday, Israeli troops attacked the villagers of al Ma’ssara and their supporters at village entrance then forced them back using rifle buts and batons. No injuries were reported.
The Political Report
Hours after the deadline for Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, US’s Jhon Kerry, still hopes the two parties would consider resuming the negotiations. Meanwhile, Israel warns President Abbas against a recent reconciliation deal with the Islamist Hamas party in Gaza.
US Secretary of State, Jhon Kerry, believed that peace negotiations could be resumed, once both Palestinians and Israelis realize significant of those talks.
Kerry’s remarks came in the backdrop of recent Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal that the US considered counterproductive to peace-making. Israel from it’s part, declared a unilateral halt of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority and demanded President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah , to retreat the deal.
Though, some Israeli officials preferred to wait and see , in light of latest Abbas’s remarks that the upcoming national consensus government will be his own and will follow up on his footsteps.
Abbas has reaffirmed stance that he opts for negotiations and recognizes Israel but not a Jewish identity of the Israeli state, as Israel has repeatedly demanded.
In the Gaza Strip, Hamas’s influential leaders such as Mahmoud Alzahar, reteriated Hamas’s position that the party will never recognize Israel’s right to exist, based on the fact that Israel is an occupying power that has taken over Palestine for more than six decades now.
This week, Palestinian national council convened in Ramallah over the negotiations with Israel and some other related issues.
The council involves all Palestinian factions, excluding Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. Delegation of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, withdrew from the meeting in protest of what they termed ‘ continued security coordination with the Israeli occupation”.
Meanwhile, political analysts in Gaza told IMEMC that the latest unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas is cautiously welcomed.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week one man was killed and another injured due to Israeli army and settlers attacks. Moreover Israeli troops kidnapped at least 41 civilians during invasions targeting Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza this week.
A Palestinian lawyer was found dead in his apartment, on Tuesday, after being tortured during a 45-day detention by Israeli forces, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society. Amjad al-Safadi, aged 39, was beaten, shocked and put under continuous observation, leading to extreme psychological distress, ultimately pushing him to commit suicide, a statement by the organization said.
Earlier in the week, a Palestinian man was injured after being hit by a settler’s car, while working in Beitar Illit illegal settlement, near Bethlehem. The sources said that Sha’baan Abdullah Qandeel, 32, suffered various bone fractures and bruises, and was moved to the Arab Society Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, in the nearby city of Beit Jala.
Also this week the Israeli army demolished a number of Palestinian homes in different parts of the West Bank. The Israeli army demolished two Palestinian homes in al Aroup refugee camp near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem on Wednesday.
According to local sources, several heavy vehicles invaded the area, including farmlands, fired several gas bombs and concussion grenades at the residents, and demolished two homes. The homes are more than 200 square/meters each; the soldiers also demolished walls around the properties, and uprooted olive and fig trees, and grape vines.
On Tuesday Several Israeli military jeeps and bulldozers invaded Khirbit at-Taweel village, near Aqraba town, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, where they demolished a mosque and several sheds. Local sources said the soldiers displaced several families, rendering them homeless, and threw their belongings away. They added that the soldiers attacked the residents, and dragged them out of their homes.
On Friday the Israeli army issued military orders to cut and uproot hundreds of Palestinian trees, near a bypass road used by Israeli settlers, close to Madama village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The army said the decision was motivated by security considerations, to ensure protection for Jewish settlers driving to and from their illegal settlements.
In Gaza this week, several armored Israeli military vehicles invaded on Thursday an area east of Khan Younis city, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Army bulldozers destroyed Palestinian lands. Local sources reported that at least eight military bulldozers and vehicles advanced nearly 100 meters into Palestinian lands, through the Abu Reeda area.
The invading vehicles used smokescreens during the invasion, while military vehicles stationed nearby fired dozens of rounds of live ammunition into the area as Palestinian workers were collecting gravel used in constructions. No injuries were reported.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for April 25th to May 2nd, 2014 from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website at www.imemc.org. This week’s report has been brought to you by George Rishmawi, and Ghassan Bannoura.