HAVANA TIMES — Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for April 12th to the 18th, 2014.
Palestinian and Israeli negotiators meet this week, still talks bared no fruit, meanwhile on the ground Israeli army attacks let a Palestinian dead and another worker injured this week.
The Nonviolence Report
Let’s begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities organized in the West Bank. Five civilians were injured many others were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli troops attack anti wall and settlement protests organized at a number of west Bank communities on Friday.
In central West Bank protests were organized at the village of Bil’in, Ni’lin and Al Nabi saleh. Also protests were organized in southern West Bank village of Al Ma’ssara near Bethlehem.
Israeli soldiers attacked anti wall and settlements protesters in Al Nabi saleh before even leaving the village. Many protesters were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets fired by troops. Later soldiers also invaded the village and fired tear gas at residents’ homes. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In the nearby Bil’in, and Ni’lin villages, residents and their supporters reached the Israeli wall built on lands taken from local famers before soldiers stationed their showered them with tear gas and chemical water that generate bad smell. One youth was hit by a rubber coated steel bullet, while many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Elsewhere, at al Ma’ssara village on Friday, Israeli troops stopped the villagers and their supporters at village entrance then forced them back using rifle-buts and batons to push people back, no injuries were reported.
The Political Report
Palestinian and Israeli negotiators failed this week to reach an agreement before their US-mediated peace negotiations reach a deadline of end of this month.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met this week in Ramallah with a number of leftist Israelis. Abbas outlined reasons for both sides’ failure to reach an agreement.
Among them was Israel’s failure to release two dozens of Palestinian detainees, agreed upon via American mediation back in July of last year. He also blamed Israel for not living up with halt of settlement activities on occupied lands including in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Palestinian Authority’s president had earlier signed a series of agreements with international organizations belonging to United Nations and signaled the intention to submit the problem with Israel to United Nations organs.
Israel, from its part, blamed the Palestinian Authority for the agreements signing and affirmed willingness to negotiate with the PA without conditions, something that Palestinians have rejected.
Under US pressure, President Abbas said he would consider extending period of negotiations with Israel for one more year, based on Israel’s acceptance of negotiations over core issues like the refuges and final borders for the envisioned future Palestinian state.
Palestinians and Israelis along with American mediator agreed to resume negotiations last June, towards an envisioned two-state solution for Israel and Palestinians. Boundaries of future Palestinian state should be West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.
In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Prime Minister of Hamas, Ismail Haniya, voiced out wish for an accelerated conciliation drive between his Islamist party and Fatah party of the US-backed president , Mahmoud Abbas. Haniya gave orders to allow a Fatah-led delegation to enter the coastal territory for conciliation talks.
Meanwhile, Hamas’s prominent leader in Gaza, Mahmoud Alzahhar, called on Abbas to quit negotiations with Israel. Hamas and Fatah have been in split since 2007, as each party adopts a different political platform from the other.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week Israeli army attacks targeting Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza left one killed and nearly 60 injured.
During the week, the Israeli army conducted at least 62 invasions in the Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these attacks Israeli troops kidnapped at least 22 Palestinians, including 2 children.
On Monday night, 40 year old, Noha Qatamish, died at Bethlehem city hospital in southern West Bank after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli troops.
Qatamish was suffering from a severe case of allergy. Her respiratory system failed when soldiers fired tear gas into and around her home at Aida refugee camp, in Bethlehem city, local sources reported. According to local sources Israeli troops have been attacking the camp since Saturday and firing tear gas into residents’ homes and streets. oN Sunday night troops injured a young youth in Aida and then kidnapped him.
Elsewhere Israeli troops and a group of settlers attacked, Monday morning, Palestinian workers who were constructing agricultural roads in Burin village, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank. Settlers were protected by Israeli soldiers, local sources reported. The settlers came from the nearby illegal settlement of Bracha.
On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers placed a full siege on the town of Ithna, near Hebron and initiated a large-scale search campaign that targeted dozens of homes and stores in the town.
Local sources reported that the army attack started on Monday evening after an Israeli settler was shot and killed, and three others were injured, near the town. No Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the attack.
In Jerusalem, at least 40 Palestinians were injured, another six kidnapped by Israeli troops who stormed the Al Aqsa mosque on Wednesday.
Clashes erupted inside the holy site after troops attacked Palestinian worshipers with live gunfire and tear gas, local sources reported. The Israeli troops were protecting Israeli right wing radicals who entered the Muslim holy site to conduct prayers there.
In the Gaza strip this week a Palestinian worker was shot and injured on Tuesday near the Israeli Eriz crossing at the northern borders of the Gaza Strip.
Local sources announced that the man was working in lands close to the borders when troops manning military watch towers opened fire at him. He was moved to a hospital after sustaining moderate wounds.
Later in the week, three people killed and five injured in a blast in the city of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Wednesday. The Ministry of the Interior of Gaza’s deposed government said that “the blast was caused by a fire that broke out in a house. Four of the injured were firemen who arrived at the scene to provide help.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for April 12th to the 18th 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 George Rishmawi, and Ghassan Bannoura.