This Week in Palestine (June 15-21)

by IMEMC News

Gaza port.  Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman
Gaza port. Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman

HAVANA TIMES — Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for June 15 to the 21st 2013.

As Israeli soldiers and settlers attacks targeting Palestinians escalated this week the newly appointed Palestinian Prime Minister resigns his post. 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. This week protests were organized in the villages of al Nabi Saleh, Bil’in, Nil’in in central West Bank, in addition Al Ma’ssara in southern West Bank.

Israeli soldiers used tear gas, chemical water and rubber-coated steel bullets to attack the weekly protests at the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin where residents and their international and Israeli supporters, managed to reach the wall.

As a result of the soldiers attack on the two protests many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

In Bil’in gas bombs fired by Israeli troops cased fire that damaged olive trees owned by local farmers. Soldiers also fired tear gas at residents who tryied to put off the fire.

At the nearby village of al Nabi Saleh, Israeli soldiers attacked the villagers and their supporters before leaving the village.

In addition Israeli troops stormed the village and fire gas bombs into resident homes. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

Elsewhere, at al Ma’ssara village, Israeli troops stopped the villagers and their supporters at village entrance then forced them back using rifle butts and batons to bush people back, no injuries were reported.

The Political Report

This week the newly appointed Palestinian Prime Minister resigns his post just one month after taking office and President Abbas affirms his commitment to the U.S efforts to revive the peace process.

On Thursday the newly appointed Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Rami Hamdallah, officially submitted his resignation to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Nabil Abu Rodeina, spokesperson of Abbas stated Thursday evening that the president will be looking into the resignation, a move that is more of a formality.

Hamdallah was appointed to his post by President Abbas, and was officially sworn-in at the beginning of this month replacing the resigned Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad. He has a PhD. in Applied Linguistics from a British University, and was the head of the An-Najah University in Nablus.

While some political analysts say the reason behind his quick resignation is the responsibilities of the Prime Minister, while others said the resignation was likely based on the formation of the government, and the fact that two deputies to the Prime Minister have also been appointed. The government of Hamdallah only held two sessions, one of which was followed by protests against high living costs and obstructions in the payroll.

Also this week Catherine Ashton, High Representative of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union, visited the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. On Wednesday Ashton met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the PA headquarters in Ramallah.

Abbas told Ashton that he is supporting the US secretary of state, John Kerry’s efforts said to be aimed at reviving the stalled peace process and establishing a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

On Thursday Ashton arrived in the Gaza Strip and visited a school run by the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA). Ashton affirmed that the European Union is committed to supporting the UNRWA and its work, and that the EU’s support will remain strong both politically and financially.

The European Union official further stated that Gaza border terminals must be opened, and thanked the UNRWA for its ongoing work in Gaza despite financial difficulties it faces. Ashton also said that the EU supports a just settlement to the conflict, and supports developing the Gaza Strip and enhancing living conditions.

In other news Dr. Ghazi Hamad, a political leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) revealed, Wednesday, that political leaders of Hamas held meetings with several European ambassadors and officials, and with senior American leaders as well.

Hamad said that the meetings focused on taking Hamas off the “terror list”. According to Hamad meetings with American and European officials have been held in a number of Arab capitals, and that the most recent one was held two weeks ago.

The West Bank and Gaza Report

This week the Israeli army conducted at least 82 military invasions into Palestinian communities targeting West Bank and Gaza Strip. During these attacks Israeli troops kidnapped 32 Palestinians, including three children. IMEMC’s Eman Abed Rabo with the dateles

This week Israeli troops kidnappings of Palestinian civilians were focused in the cities of Jenin and Nablus, northern West Bank as well as Hebron and Bethlehem cities in southern West Bank.

Also this week Israeli settlers attacks targeting Palestinians escalated. On Monday three Israeli settlers attacked an elderly Palestinian woman in Deir Yassin area, in West Jerusalem. Medical sources said that Fathiyya Mohammad Ajaj, 75, was visiting her son, Abed, at a hospital in the area. The woman sustained light wounds and was taken to a hospital in east Jerusalem.

Also in Jerusalem on Tuesday a number of extremist Israeli settlers punctured tires of 28 Palestinian cars in Abu Gosh. The settlers carried their attacks out during early dawn hours, and wrote racist graffiti, such as “Price Tag”, “Death To Arabs”, and “Arabs Out”, on a number of walls.

Moreover Israeli settlers attacked on Wednesday afternoon a Palestinian night guard near Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s old city. Witnesses told local news that the settlers attacked the man while Israeli police officers were watching and did nothing to stop the attack. The guard sustained light wounds, the sources added.

Later in the week a number of extremist Israeli settlers attacked, on Thursday at dawn a Palestinian car driving on the Nablus-Qalqilia road causing excessive damage but no injuries.

Also this week eight Palestinian political detainee held by the Israeli army in the Rimon detention facility announced on Monday an open-ended hunger strike. The detainees are demanding that the Israeli army moves them to detention facilities closer to their families homes so they can come and visit them,

In the Gaza Strip this week as part of the Israeli navy forces’ attacks on Palestinian fishermen, Israeli gunboats stationed off Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire on Tuesday at the Palestinian fishing boats that were sailing within the six nautical mile limit. As a result, fishermen were forced to sail backwards fearing of arrest or injury.

And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for June 15 to the 21st 2013 from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please keep visiting our website at Today’s report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me, George Rishmawi.