This Week in Palestine May 24-30


Hotel in  Gaza.  Photo: Julie Webb Pullman
Hotel in Gaza. Photo: Julie Webb Pullman

HAVANA TIMES — Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for May 24th to the 30th, 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. 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, three protesters were injured when Israeli soldiers attacked nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages.

Protests were organized on Friday in the village of al Nabi Saleh, Bil’in, Nil’in, central West Bank, and Al Ma’ssara village in southern west Bank.

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.
Troops stationed at the wall fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at the protesters in Bil’in and Nil’in.

Three civilians were lightly wounded in Bil’in village by the army attack. Moreover many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation in both villages.

At the nearby village of al Nabi Saleh soldiers stop the protest before leaving the village Later soldiers stormed the village and fired tear gas into residents’ homes causing damage.

Meanwhile Israeli troops attacked the villagers of al Ma’ssara and their supporters at village entrance then forced them back using rifle buts and batons, no injuries were reported.

The Political Report

Following resounding victory of Egypt’s strong man and ex-army chief, Abdullfattah Alsisy, during latest Egyptian elections, Palestinians express the hope that borders with Egypt will be reopened normally. Meanwhile, major Palestinian parties, Fatah and Hamas, are set to announce the first national consensus cabinet, following reconciliation.

Palestinian official bodies and representatives of civil society organizations welcomed this week, results of latest presidential elections in Egypt. They expressed the hope that the newly-elected Egypt’s strongman and ex-army chief, Abdullfattah Alsisy, will allow a normal movement between Gaza and Egypt.

Last July, Alsisi ousted the first elected Egyptian president, Islamist Mohammad Mosri, under mass pressure and widespread protests against Mosri.

Since the ouster, Rafah crossing terminal, sole outlet for Palestinians to the outside world, has remained rather closed, leaving thousands of Gaza travelers, stuck inside the coastal occupied territory.

In the meantime, the Islamist ruling Hamas party in Gaza, believed that an announcement of a national consensus technocrat government, will be delayed for days. Hamas’s spokesperson in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, wrote on his official Facebook page “Canceling the prisoners’ portfolio contradicts our Palestinian national interests”.

Hamas had objected to President Mahmoud Abbass’s intention to assign veteran foreign minister with the current Ramallah-based government, Riyad Almalky, with the same post in the new cabinet. Hamas wants a new name to take the post; Ziyad Abu Amr.

Last week, both Hamas and Fatah representatives, agreed on 15 different portfolios within the national reconciliation pact, reached last month. Fatah of the western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas and the internationally-boycotted Islamist Hamas, ended seven years of political split.

In a related news, Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations, have been held off , since both Hamas and Fatah have reached the reconciliation deal. Israel insists that Hamas should outright recognize Israel, before any talks are resumed.

The West Bank and Gaza Report

This week, an elderly Palestinian man died due to tear gas inhalation. Meanwhile, the Israeli army forces conducted at least 65 military invasions targeting Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza. During these attacks, Israeli troops kidnapped at least 46 Palestinians, including 10 children.

An elderly Palestinian physician died on Tuesday due to the effects of teargas inhalation. He was hurt and hospitalized several days ago. Local sources said that Dr. Samih Abu Oheish, 64, from Abu Dis, a Palestinian town southeast of occupied Jerusalem, was hospitalized in a critical condition after inhaling gas from tear gas canister that was fired by Israeli soldiers invading the town on Sunday.

Dr. Samih held senior positions at the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the Jericho Hospital Administration, and also ran a clinic and a pharmacy in Abu Dis.

A Palestinian youth was severely injured on Thursday after being ran over by an Israeli military vehicle in the village of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, according to a local activist. 15-year-old Anan Abu-Ayyash suffered head after being run over by an Israeli army jeep. He was transferred to hospital for medical treatment.

On Wednesday, three civilians were injured by Israeli forces after they violently dispersed a public protest, organized by Palestinians, in Jerusalem’s Old City. Palestinians gathered in protest because of Israel’s Jerusalem Day celebration, a day that for Palestinians marks the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem since 1967.

Also this week, hunger striking a Palestinian political detainee, Abed Thweb, 44, who is held by Israel, was moved to an Israeli hospital after he suffered a heart attack on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian ministry for political prisoners’ affairs announced that 80 hunger striking detainees have been moved to hospitals by the Israeli army due to deterioration in their health.

More than 200 detainees started their strike on April 24, in protest of Israel’s administrative detention and ill treatment by their captives. Israel uses the administrative detention to hold Palestinians for longer periods of time without charges of being shown in court.

In the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, Israeli navy forces abducted, early this morning, three fishermen working off the Rafah coast, in the southern Gaza Strip.

Additionally, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has released a report today stating that life in the Gaza Strip has become unbearable due to the imposed siege and the closure of crossings.


And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for May 17th to the 23rd, 2014 from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website at This week’s report has been brought to you by George Rishmawi, and Ghassan Bannoura.