This Week in Palestine (Dec. 15-21)

by IMEMC News

Photo from Gaza by Julie Webb-Pullman

HAVANA TIMES — Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for December 15th to the 21st, 2012

Over 160 thousand Palestinian civil servants are not likely to get their salaries this month because the ongoing financial crises of the Palestinian Authority, in the meantime, Israel continues its escalation of assaults against Palestinian civilians after the UN recognition of a non-member state in late November.

The Nonviolence Report

Let’s us begin our weekly report with nonviolent activities organized in the West Bank. protests this week were in solidarity with hunger striking Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel.

On Friday anti wall and settlements protests were organized at the villages of Bil’in Ni’lin and al Nabi Saleh in central West Bank, as well as Al Ma’ssara village in southern West Bank in addition to Kufer Kadum, in the north.

Israeli soldiers attacked al Nabi Saleh villagers and their supporters before leaving the village. Troops used tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets. many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

In the nearby Bil’in and Nil’in village, Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters as soon as they reached the Israeli wall build on local farmers’ lands. As a result dozens were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation

Also on Friday many villagers were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when troops attacked the anti wall protest at the village of Kufer Kadum. Villagers and their supporters are demanding Israel to remove road block which cuts off the main road that connects the village with the rest of the West Bank.

In Al Ma’ssara, on Friday, Israeli troops forced people back into the village and did not allow them to get to the wall. Soldiers used rifle buts and batons to bush people back, no injuries were reported.

The Political Report

The Palestinian Authority’s financial crisis is looming once again as the PA’s payroll are du to receive their monthly salaries. The crisis this time comes against the backdrop of United Nations recognition of a non-member Palestinian state and international backing to a two-state solution, which Israeli settlements building seems to have been hijacking for many years now for IMEMC’s

In a meeting in the West Bank city of Bethlehem this week, top Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Eriqat, expected a response by Arab States’ league to current financial crisis by pledging funds needed by the PA to pay salaries of its employees in both Gaza Strip and West Bank. The PA negotiator strongly criticized Israeli settlements plan in East Jerusalem , saying that the two-state solution is proceeding and that the international community will move against such settlements plans.

Eriqat maintained that the PA is waiting for a response by the Arab league by December 24 and that the crisis will come to an end.

In the meantime, Prime Minister of the PA, Salam Fayyad, voiced out deep concern over the current crisis but hoped the crisis will be solved soon. Such a crisis is not the same of it’s type yet it comes on the heels of PA’s success to extract UN recognition of a non-member state at the UN last November, something that Israel rejected strongly, claiming any final solution for the conflict should be reached through direct negotiations with the Palestinians.

On the ground, Israel announced new settlements building across the occupied East Jerusalem, capital for future Palestinian states, according to the UN recognition.

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas sources believed that an end to current political split between Hamas and Fatah party of Palestinian Preisdent Mahmoud Abbas can be reached once the situation in nearby Egypt is getting rather stable politically. Egypt has been the main patron for reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. Qatar also has been a major player. Qatari prince, Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, is expected to visit Ramallah soon and expected to push for that reconciliation.

Also, in Gaza, representatives for all Gaza-based political parties including Hamas and Fatah, discussed this week Fatah’s concerns over the ruling Hamas’s refusal to allow Fatah to hold a major celebration ceremony at a main Gaza location dedicated for major celebrations. A part of re-conciliatory tones between Hamas and Fatah,

Hamas authorities will allow Fatah to mark the 48 anniversary of the organization’s establishment, yet the location is to be determined. The PA in Ramallah has recently allowed Hamas to mark the anniversary of the party’s establishment in different parts of the West Bank. Both parties have split since 2007, when Hamas took over Gaza and ousted Fatah leadership from there.

The West Bank and Gaza Report

This week the Israeli army conducted at least 35 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these invasions Israeli troops arrested at least 33 Palestinians. Moreover five Palestinian political detainees held by Israel continued their hunger strike demanding their freedom.

This week five Palestinian political prisoners have continued their hunger strike. The five are, Ayman Sharawna (171 days), Samer Issawi (140 days), Yousef Yassin (21 days), Jafar Azzidine (21 days) and Tarek Qa’adan (21 days).

Addameer for prisoners support and human rights association warned that the five hunger striking prisoners are in danger of imminent death if they are not provided with immediate independent medical care or release.

Israeli soldiers attacked several family members of Al-Eesawy during the court session on Tuesday of this week and arrested his sister, Shrien, who is also lawyer. Shrien was released the next day. Soldiers claimed that she attacked them. A video released on YouTube showed that soldiers attacked Al-Eesawy family as soon as Samer tried to say hi to them.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, one boy was injured during clashes that erupted in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem on Sunday. On Monday a Palestinian boy from Madama village, south of Nablus, was wounded in the left leg when the Israeli Forces fired at him, when he hurried to rescue his brother, who was grazing the sheep and was attacked by the settlers and in the presence of the Israeli soldiers.

A 12 years old Palestinian child was injured on Thursday when a bomb left by the Israeli military exploded near her at Al Malih village, in the Jordan Valley area of the West Bank. According to local sources the child was playing near her family’s tents when a bomb left by Israeli soldiers exploded near her. She was moved to a hospital in Jericho city, where doctors said the child sustained critical wounds.

In the Gaza strip this week, a Palestinian farmer was seriously wounded on Sunday when the Israeli Forces stationed along the border fence in the southern Gaza Strip opened fire at a group of Palestinians, who were working on their lands.

On Monday a Palestinian fisherman was wounded when the Israeli gunboats stationed in the Gazan waters opened fire at a fishing boat sailing at 7 nautical miles off Gaza shore. Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishermen in the same area another two times later in the week. But neither casualties nor damage were reported.

And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine this was the Weekly report for December 15th to 21st 2012 from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website at