HAVANA TIMES — Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for June 22nd to the 28th 2013.
As US Secretary of State, John Kerry, arrived in the region this week to revive the peace process, Israel continued settlement construction and troops escalated attacks targeting Palestinians.
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, Ni’lin and the nearby Al Nabi Saleh.
At the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin residents and their international and Israeli supporters, managed to reach the wall.
Meanwhile at the 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 at all three villages.
Elsewhere, at al Ma’ssara village, Israeli troops stopped the villagers and their supporters at village entrance then forced them back using rifle buts and batons to bush people back, no injuries were reported.
The Political Report
This week top Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Eriqat says release of Palestinian prisoners and Israeli recognition of 1967 borders as boundaries of future Palestinian state were agreed to during the Oslo peace accords of 1993.
Bringing new ideas for peace, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, arrived in the region this week in order to push both Palestinians and Israelis for peace. Kerry will try to convince both sides of returning back to negotiations table.
Some sources suggest that in the shadow of Israel’s failure to halt settlement activities on occupied Palestinian territories, Kerry will be urging Israel to release a number of old Palestinian prisoners, detained prior to the Oslo accords of 1993.
The release of those prisoners will likely be completed within stages, so that Israel will guarantee return of Palestinians to the negotiations table.
The Palestinian Authority still considers Israeli settlements building on occupied Palestinian lands, as the obstacle towards peace talks and that Israel should immediately stop them.
Peace talks have been stalled for more than two years now, with Israel acceleration settlements construction, something that would preempt any final-status solution, based on 1967 borders.
In Jerusalem, Israeli president, Shimon Peres and his prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, believed this week that a bi-national state on the lands of Palestine is an unworkable or viable solution. They announced acceptance of a two-state solution that would guarantee the security of the state of Israel.
In another news, both the Islamic Hamas movement in Gaza and the Fatah party of Palestinian president , Mahmoud Abbas , are yet to agree on national conciliation. Prime Minister of Turkey, Tayyeb Rajjab Ordogan is expected to visit Gaza by early July, to push for conciliation between the two sides.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week the Israeli army conducted at least 48 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza. During these attacks, Israeli troops kidnapped at least 25 Palestinians, including 5 children.
This week invasions and kidnappings by the Israeli army were focused in the West Bank cities of Ramallah, Jenin, Tubas and Hebron.
On Monday Israeli fighter jets fired several missiles targeting what the army called “weapons storage facilities” in the Gaza Strip, and another location apparently used as a training center for a resistance group.
The Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, reported that Israeli war jets bombarded two of its centers west of Khan Younis and Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
Several missiles were also fired into an agricultural land near Deir Al-Balah, in central Gaza. Furthermore, an Israeli war jet fired missiles into a center that belongs to the Palestinian National Security Forces, in Gaza; damage was reported, no injuries.
In the West Bank also on Monday a group of settlers from Havat Gilad settlement raided Palestinian civilians’ land in Amateen village, northeast of Qalqilia and cut off six olive trees.
Furthermore, a group of settlers from Carmiel settlement also near Qalqilia attacked a group of farmers and shepherds. The attacks took place in the presence of Israeli army forces that declared the area a closed military zone and arrested two Palestinian civilians under after claiming they assaulted settlers.
On Wednesday a group of settlers from Ovijal settlement, near Hebron, attacked Palestinian shepherds with police dogs while they were grazing their sheep in al-‘Attarya area.
Moreover, Israeli settlers raided pastoral lands in the surroundings of Kherbat Qwaiwes, also near Hebron, area and told shepherds of Abu-‘Arram family to leave the area, claiming that it is their property. Israeli troops arrived at the scene and ordered the shepherds to leave the area.
Later in the week a number of extremist Israeli settlers burnt, Thursday, Palestinian agricultural lands planted with Olive and Almond trees owned by farmers of Sabastia village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for June 22 to the 28 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 me, Ghassan Bannoura.