HAVANA TIMES – Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for October 19th to the 25th, 2013.
While the Israeli government announced this week its intention to release a number of Palestinian political detainees, army and settlers attacks left two Palestinians dead. These stories and more, coming up.
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, central West Bank and Al Ma’ssara village in southern west Bank.
At the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin, residents and their international and Israeli supporters, managed to reach the wall.
Soldiers stationed there fired tear gas and chemical water on protesters. One photojournalist was injured after being hit in the back by rubber coated steel built while a resident was hit with one in his leg. In addition many civilians were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Meanwhile at the nearby village of al Nabi Saleh, Israeli soldiers attacked the villagers and their supporters before leaving the village.
Soldiers used tear gas and chemical water against unarmed protesters. Later troops invaded the village and fired tear gas into residents’ 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 buts and batons to bush people back, no injuries were reported.
The Political Report
Israel is set to release a new batch of Palestinian prisoners, within Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.
Israel says it will release 32 Palestinian prisoners in the framework of a previous agreement with Palestinians, which kicked off stalled peace negotiations.
Palestinians consider the move as good step in the right directions, yet continued settlements building in occupied Palestinian territories might hamper those peace talks.
In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian prime minister of Hamas, Ismail Haniya, said in a public speech that Palestinian conciliation could be reached if the rival Fatah party agreed to implement Cairo-signed conciliation agreements.
Haniya called for implementing what he said an agreed-upon understandings in Cairo and in some other Arab regions. He called for forming a national-unity government before going to general elections. Meanwhile, Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, wants elections before any conciliation deal.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week the Israeli army conducted at least 48 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza. Israeli troops killed one Palestinian man while settlers killed another. Moreover troops kidnapped during this week’s invasions at least 30 Palestinians.
This week’s invasions were focused in the cities of Bethlehem and Hebron, southern West Bank, and the central West Bank city of Ramallah in addition to Jenin in the north. Among those taken by the army this week there were five children, local sources reported.
On Tuesday, two Palestinian men were killed by Israeli army and settlers attacks. Mohammad ‘Aasy, 24, was killed by Israeli troops when they invaded the village Kufur Ni’ma, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
‘Aasy was wanted by the army for being part of the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, the group announced on Tuesday.
Israeli troops invaded the village searched homes then surrounded ‘Aasy at a nearby cave and killed him. Troops also fired tear gas into residents’ homes during the attack as a result many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation including a 6 month old baby.
Later on Tuesday an elderly Palestinian man died of wounds he sustained last week when an Israeli settler rammed him with his car near the village of Al Fondouk in northern West Bank.
On Tuesday night a number of extremist Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian child after breaking into her family’s home, in Burin village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
Local sources have reported that extremists from the Bracha illegal settlement invaded the village and attacked a number of homes and residents, injuring a Palestinian child after assaulting her.
In the Gaza Strip this week, a number of armored Israeli military vehicles invaded areas in the northern and central parts of the besieged coastal enclave on a number of occasions. Invasions were reported on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
Israeli tank fired rounds of live ammunition on residents homes and nearby farm lands as bulldozers uprooted trees and destroyed crops owned by local farmers. Damage was reported but no injuries.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for October 19th to the 25th, 2013 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 me, Ghassan Bannoura.