HAVANA TIMES — Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for May 10th to the 16th, 2014.
Two Palestinian civilians were killed this week as the Israeli army attacks Nakab day protests. Meanwhile the American mediated peace talks remain stalled. These stories and more follow.
The Nonviolence Report
Let’s begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities organized in the West Bank. On Friday, at least one Palestinian civilian was injured, while scores of others were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as Israeli troops attacked the nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages.
A Palestinian man was injured after he was hit in the arm with rubber-coated steel bullet, fired by Israeli troops. Israeli soldiers attacked a non-violent protest organized in the northern West Bank village of Kufer Qadoum.
According to local sources, residents along with international supporters were protesting near the Israeli installed road block at the main entrance of the village when they were attacked by Israeli soldiers. The Israeli army closed the main road leading in and out of Kufer Qadoum 13 year ago, claiming that it creates a security risk for the illegal settlement near the village.
In the central West Bank, Israeli troops used tear gas and sound bombs as well as chemical water to attack the weekly anti-wall and anti-settlements protests at villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin, and the nearby village of al Nabi Saleh.
In Bil’in and Ni’lin, Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters as soon as they reached the gate of the wall that separates local farmers from their lands. Many protesters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation at both locations.
Meanwhile at the village of Al Nabi Saleh, troops attacked the unarmed protesters before leaving the village. Later soldiers stormed the village and fired tear gas into residents’ homes causing damage.
Elsewhere, at Al-Ma’asara village, in southern West Bank, Israeli troops stopped villagers and their supporters at the entrance of the village and forced them back, however, no injuries were reported.
This week protests were organized in support of the hunger striking Palestinian political detainees held by the Israeli army as well as the commemoration of the 66th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba. The prisoners went on hunger strike earlier last month in protest of ill treatment by their jailers and the use of Administrative detention against them.
The Political Report
Palestinians and Israelis are yet to resume their peace talks. Meanwhile, intra-Palestinian talks are underway, with the aim of forming a national consensus government.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, is heading for Venezuela, within talks with officials in the country. Abbas’s tour comes as the Middle East peace drive is halted, following a unity deal between Abba’s Fatah party and the Islamist Hamas party in Gaza.
The president has reaffirmed stance that he can resume talks with Israel unconditionally, provided that Israel freezes illegal settlement activities on occupied Palestinian lands and release fourth batch of Palestinian detainees, agreed upon last June.
Abbas also hinted at the possibility that any upcoming Palestinian government would abide by three international demands; recognizing Israel, accepting past-signed agreements with Israel and renouncing violence.
Abbas has rejected vehemently an Israeli demand that Palestinians should recognize a Jewish identity of the Israeli state.
From Japan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that the latest intra-Palestinian deal was the reason for the suspension of peace talks.
The Israeli premier conditioned that Hamas must accept the three international demands and that Palestinians as a whole, should recognize Israel’s Jewish identity, before talks are resumed.
Washington, sponsor for Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, called on both parties to take the necessary decisions to restart their peace negotiations. The US has not yet walked away from the peace drive and believed that this time is needed for the sides to decide.
In the Gaza Strip, representatives for both Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamist Hamas party, met on forming a new technocratic government that would prepare for the 2015 elections.
The parties confirmed that a national consensus technocratic cabinet will come into effect in a period of few weeks, from now.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week Israeli soldiers shot and killed two Palestinian youth as they attacked protests organized in the West Bank and Gaza commemorating the 66 anniversary of the Nakab. IMEMC’s Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura reports:
Two Palestinian civilians were killed, scores others injured, on Thursday when Israeli soldiers attacked protests organized in the West Bank and Gaza marking the 66th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, catastrophe in English.
Palestinian medical sources have reported that two Palestinians have been killed and several others injured by Israeli army fire, after soldiers attacked a nonviolent protest with live rounds near the Ofer Prison, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
Nadim Nuwwara, 17, from the al-Mazra’a al-Gharbiyya village, northwest of Ramallah, and Mohammad Abu Thaher, 20, from Ramallah. Witnesses said that the Israeli army sharpshooters targeted the protesters, killing the two Palestinians and wounding several others.
According to Palestinian medical sources at least 55 Palestinians were reported injured as troops attacked Nakba day protests all over the west Bank. Meanwhile in the Gaza Strip, political groups and local NGOs organized a number of protests that marched to the borders of the Gaza Strip with Israel.
Nakba Day, Day of the Catastrophe, is generally commemorated on 15 May. During the 1948 establishment of Israel in historical Palestine, an estimated 700,000 Palestinians r were expelled, and hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages were depopulated and destroyed.
In Jerusalem this week, Israeli soldiers invaded the neighborhoods of Beit Hanina, Shu’fat and Ras al-‘Amoud, and demolished three Palestinian structures on Wednesday, allegedly for being constructed without permits.
Statistics of the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions, state that at least 27.000 homes and structures have been demolished by Israel since it occupied the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, since 1967.
Earlier in the week, dozens of Israeli soldiers surrounded the al-Quds Open University, and a number of schools, in Abu Dis town, near occupied East Jerusalem, clashing with local youth and causing dozens of injuries.
Local news sources said that the soldiers invaded the area to close a gap, created recently by local youth, in the Annexation Wall, leading to clashes with dozens of young people.
Later the army surrounded the Al Qudes University, and fired dozens of rubber-coated metal bullets, gas bombs, concussion grenades and several rounds of live ammunition, especially targeting the Engineering College and Computer Science Department. All students and staff of the attacked educational facilities were sent home due to the intensity of gas fired by the invading soldiers.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for May 10th to the 16th, 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 Samer Jaber and Ghassan Bannoura.