This Week in Palestine (June 1-6)
HAVANA TIMES — Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for June 1st to the 6th, 2014.
While rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas, are set to announce the first national consensus cabinet, following reconciliation, meanwhile this week Israeli attacks leave a Palestinian old man dead.
The Nonviolence Report
Let’s begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities organized in the West Bank. two civilians were injured many others were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli troops attack anti wall and settlement protests organized at a number of west Bank communities on Friday.
In central West Bank protests were organized at the village of Bil’in, Ni’lin and Al Nabi saleh. Also protests were organized in southern West Bank village of Al Ma’ssara near Bethlehem. This week protests were organized in support of the Palestinian hunger striking detainees being held by the Israeli military.
At the villages of Bil’in, and Ni’lin residents and their supporters reached the Israeli wall built on lands taken from local famers before soldiers stationed their showered them with tear gas and chemical water that generate bad smell. A Palestinian youth and a paramedic were injured after being hit by a rubber coated steel bullet in Ni’lin, while many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation at both villages.
In the nearby village of Al Nabi Saleh, Israeli soldiers attacked protesters before even leaving the village. Later soldiers also invaded the village and fired tear gas at residents’ homes. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Elsewhere, at al Ma’ssara village on Friday, Israeli troops stopped the villagers and their supporters at village entrance then forced them back using rifle-buts and batons to push people back, no injuries were reported.
The Political Report
A new Palestinian technocrat government of 17 ministers, sworn in this week in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The newly-born government is the outcome of a unity agreement between the rival Hamas and Fatah parties, reached in April in Gaza.
The new Palestinian technocrat government faces a number of challenges, being the first national consensus government that ended rivalry between two major parties, Hamas and Fatah.
A new cabinet of 17 ministers, none of them belongs to either party, was sworn in before President Mahmoud Abbbas in Ramallah. The cabinet is headed by current Ramallah-based government, Rami Alhamdallah.
Palestinians in Gaza hope the new government will be able to solve economic problems, mainly the Israeli blockade on the territory, in place since 2007, when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip.
United States and the European Union responded by voicing the hope the government would stick to signed peace agreements with Israel, renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist. Israel has objected to the Palestinian cabinet, viewing it as cabinet of what Israel terms, the ‘terrorist’ Hamas group.
This week, Israel deduced some of the tax money, collected by Israel on behalf of the PA and announced halt of releasing VIP permits for PA officials. Earlier in the week, Israeli authorities denied three Gaza-based new ministers, access to the West Bank city of
Ramallah for the swearing in ceremony.
The western-backed Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, warned Israel of taking punitive actions against the newly-born government, signaling possibility to hold Israel accountable, in international relevant institutions.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week Israeli troops killed a Palestinian civilian in the West Bank and bombarded areas in Gaza causing damage.
‘Ala Mohammad Odeh, 30 years of age, was shoot and killed on Monday by Israeli troops manning Za’tara roadblock, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The army claimed that Odeh shot and injured a soldier before he was gunned down and killed.
Odeh’s family denied the army allegations and strongly condemned them. The family said he went to the roadblock to receive a shipment of cellphones for his store, and that he decided to cross the roadblock on foot to save time as the roadblock was jammed.
In other news, around 100 hunger striking Palestinian detainees held by the Israeli army were moved to twelve Israeli hospitals and medical center, due to sharp deterioration in their health conditions, Media sources report.
Palestinian Detainees, held under arbitrary Administrative Detention orders without charges or trial, started their strike 40 days ago, and were later joined by around 1,500 detainees, demanding Israel to stop using Administrative Detention orders against them.
In the Gaza Strip this week, the Israeli Air Force carried out, on Monday at dawn, two air strikes targeting two centers run by the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, in Gaza city and in Khan Younis. Local sources said the first strike targeted the Abu Jarad site, causing fires and excessive property damage. Firefighters rushed to the scene and contained the fire; no injuries were reported.
The second attack targeted a site known as Hitteen, northwest of Khan Younis city, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The bombardment led to fire in a number of structures, and in nearby hothouses used by Palestinian farmers. An Israeli military spokesperson claimed the two attacks came in retaliation to a number of homemade shells fired from Gaza into nearby Israeli settlements.
The spokesperson did not report any injuries or damage.
on Tuesday, Israeli navy ships fired rounds of live ammunition at Palestinian fishing boats near the Gaza shore. Local sources said that the attack took place in the Sudaniyya area, northwest of Gaza city, and that the boats were within the six nautical miles allowed by Israel for the fishers. The attack led to property damage but no casualties; the fishermen sailed back to the shore fearing further Israeli assaults.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for June 1st to the 6th, 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.