by IMEMC News
HAVANA TIMES — Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for January 12 to 18th 2013.
New models in protesting Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank, meanwhile, Hamas declares its readiness for conciliation, these stories and more, coming up.
The Nonviolence Report
Let’s begin our weekly report with nonviolent activities organized in the West Bank. The Israeli army this week levelled Bab Al Shames, the village Palestinian activists erected to counter the Israeli ongoing settlement activity around Jerusalem and used force to suppress the weekly anti wall protests.
Bab Al Shames village was built last week, on lands near Jerusalem Israel calls E1. On Sunday at dawn, 2000 Israeli soldiers and police officers attacked the tent village residents and arrested them all.
Later on Sunday night all activists were released at the Qalandiay checkpoint separating the central West Bank city of Ramallah from Jerusalem.
Mazin al Azieh is one of the organizers and resident of the village.
On Tuesday when activists tried to go back Israeli troops used force, including tear gas and live rounds, to force Palestinian activists away from the area. 10 people were injured among them three journalists by the Israeli army fire another 17 activists were arrested by Israeli troops and all released this week. Tamier Al Atrash, from youth against settlements:
Israel plans to build some 2000 housing units in E1 area. If completed the new settlement will cut off Jerusalem from the West Bank and dived it in two. The plan is not new it was first announced by the Israeli government in 1990s. But The US administration pressured Israel to freeze the settlement project. However Israel revived the E1 plan late last year shortly after Palestinians managed to win a vote at the UN giving them non-member state status.
Elsewhere on Friday of this week, anti wall protests were organized at the village of Bil’in, Nil’in, and Al Nabi Saleh, central West Bank, in addition to AL Ma’ssara village in the south and Kufer Qadum in the north. Israeli soldiers suppressed the nonviolent protesters with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
The Political Report
Palestinian Prime Minister of Hamas, Ismail Haniya, says his party is ready for an overall conciliation with Fatah party of Palestinian President Abbas. This comes shortly after representatives of both parties met in Cairo this week.
Premier Haniya says that his party is up to a genuine conciliation that would eventually end current state of political split. In a speech to reporters following the Friday prayers, the senior official said news from Cairo are assuring and that a conciliation is nearer than ever.
These remarks come on the heels of underway unity talks , mediated by Egypt, in the shadow of Gaza’s steadfastness against last November’s Israeli war on Gaza and Palestinian Authority’s victory at the United Nations in the same time period.
Meanwhile, Palestinian president , Mahmoud Abbas, who could win a UN recognition of Palestine as a non-member state at the UN last November, said that any conciliation should be based on general elections, something that Hamas continues to dismiss as only a result for any conciliation.
Abbas also hinted at the need that the Palestinian Authority should be the main power in the Palestinian territories and that the PA’a weaponry should be the main one. Abbas’s meant that Palestinian armed factions should be disarmed.
Other senior Hamas officials in Gaza have earlier said that a conciliation should be based on one main agenda; the resistance against the Israeli occupation.
Abbas has always said that he would not allow any form of militarized resistance against Israel.
In another news, Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was quoted as saying that only Israel, which determines the interests of Israel not any other country. Netanyahu was responding to some international criticism for ongoing Israeli illegal settlements building on occupied Palestinian territories.
Recently, United Nations has recognized these territories as boundaries of the future Palestinian state.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week the Israeli army conducted at least 40 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza. Troops killed a teenager, injured another and also arrested at least 29 Palestinian civilians.
This week invasions in the West Bank were focused in the cities of Jenin and Nablus, northern West Bank and in Hebron in the south. Four children were among those arrested by the army this week.
On Tuesday midday a 17-year-old Palestinian boy was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers, as he walked near his school close to the Israeli Annexation Wall in Bodros village, in central West Bank. The slain young Palestinian has been identified as Samir Ahmad Abdul-Rahim, 17. He was shot as he and his schoolmates were leaving school.
Local sources reported that the army was heavily deployed in the school area, and repeatedly provoked dozens of students, an issue that led to clashes between the soldiers and some students. The army then fired several rounds of live ammunition hitting Samir with several rounds to the head, chest and leg. He was moved to a local hospital but succumbed to his serious injuries despite all attempts to save his life.
Moreover one Palestinian youth was shot and injured by Israeli army fire in the southern west Bank city of Bethlehem on Wednesday. Local sources reported that Israeli soldiers invaded Aiyda refugee camp in Bethlehem near the Israeli wall and fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at residents. One youth was injured and taken to hospital after being hit with rubber-coated steel bullet in the leg, local sources reported.
Also this week Palestinian detainees, held at the Israeli Eshil prison, declared hunger strike in protest to the transfer of 27 detainees into solitary confinement, and to the ongoing violations carried out by the soldiers against them. The detainees said that the army is escalating its attacks against them, while the prison administration decided to deny family visits for one month.
Elsewhere in the Gaza strip this week, Palestinian medical sources in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, reported that one Palestinian was killed and three others were injured, on Sunday, when a siege-busting tunnel on the border with Egypt collapsed on them.
The sources said that rescue teams managed to save three wounded tunnel workers from under the rubble, while a fourth suffocated before he was rescued. Later in the week Israeli soldiers fired several artillery shells, into Palestinian lands, on Wednesday, east of the central part of the Gaza Strip, no injuries were reported.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine this was the Weekly report for January 12 to 18th, 2013 from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please keep visiting our website at www.imemc.org. Today’s report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and George Rishmawi.