HAVANA TIMES — Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center for January 11 to the 17, 2014.
Israeli army attacks targeting Palestinian communities in Gaza and the West Bank continued this week leaving six injured, meanwhile European countries criticize Israel over new settlements plans in occupied Palestinians areas.
The Nonviolence Report
Let’s begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities organized in the West Bank. five Palestinian civilians were injured on Friday as Israeli soldiers attacked the nonviolent protests organized in West Bank village using tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets.
Protests were organized on Friday in the villages of al Nabi Saleh, Bil’in, Nil’in, central West Bank, and Al Ma’ssara village in southern west Bank.
Five civilians were injured, many more were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli soldiers used tear gas and sound bombs as well as chemical water to attack the weekly anti wall and settlements protest at the village of Bil’in.
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.
Meanwhile Many residents were also treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation at the village of al Nabi Saleh. Troops attacked the unarmed protesters before even leaving the village. Later soldiers stormed the village and fired tear gas into residents’ homes causing damage.
Elsewhere al Ma’ssara villagers and their supporters were stopped by Israeli troops at the village entrance then forced them back using rifle buts and batons.
The Political Report
Some European countries criticize Israel over planned settlements building as peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians are yet to achieve progress. IMEMC’s Rami Al Meghari has more:
A high-ranking Palestinian official, Nabil Sha”ath, said that Israel is imposing new demands on their talks’ agenda with the Palestinians, mainly recognition by Palestinians of Jewishness of Israel and the presence of Israel’s military in the Jordan valley.
Sha’ath believed that the said two demands have never been related to the 20-year-old peace process between the two sides. He wondered whether those demands are meant hinder reaching a peace agreement.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas had earlier commented that Palestinians will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state and that East Jerusalem will remain the capital of future Palestinian state.
In the meantime, negotiations, mediated by US’s Jhon Kerry, have not yet achieved any progress, as Israel insists on not allowing a US military presence over the Jordan Valley, part of the occupied West Bank.
Palestinians have hinted at the possibility they would accept an international presence, instead.
On a related issue, Israeli Prime Minister , Benjamin Netanyahu and chief of Israeli peace negotiations team, Tsibi Livni, appear to have agreed on some kind of a land swap in case there is a final status peace deal between Israel and Palestinians.
Natayahou met in Jordan this week, with King Abdallah II of Jordan and both believed that negotiations should come out with an agreement by April of this year. US’s Secrteray of State, Jhon Kerry, had earlier expressed the wish that a framework agreement can be reached by the same date.
In another news, Fatah party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas called on Hamas to produce a clear-cut response to latest reconciliation efforts. Hamas said it would go for reconciliation, yet it needs some consultations within its councils.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
Army attacks this week left at least six Palestinians injured. Meanwhile Israeli troops conducted at least 72 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza. During this week invasions targeting West Bank Israeli troops kidnapped 66 civilians, including 7 children.
Israeli military invasions this week were focused in the cities of Hebron and Bethlehem, southern West Bank, as well as Jenin and Nablus in the north.
Earlier in the week seven Palestinian health workers were injured on Tuesday afternoon when Israeli settlers attacked their car near the northern west Bank city of Nablus.
The Palestinian Health Ministry announced that a group of Israeli settlers hurled stones at a car that belongs to the ministry in the Nablus-Ramallah road.
All seven men sustained cuts and bruises from the shattered gals of the car and were moved to a nearby hospital for treatment.
On Wednesday one Palestinian teenager was injured by Israeli army gunfire at Aida refugee camp, in the southern West bank city of Bethlehem. Local sources said Israeli troops fired live rounds and rubber-coated steel bullets at local youth who responded by throwing stones at soldiers.
In the Gaza Strip this week, four children and one woman have been injured, on Thursday at dawn, after Israeli soldiers carried out a number of air strikes targeting eastern and western areas of Gaza city.
The Israeli army claimed it bombarded a workshop used by Palestinian fighters to manufacture shells. Palestinian sources said that the bombardment targeted a residential area causing damage to some of the houses.
On Wednesday several Israeli military vehicles carried out a limited invasion into Palestinian agricultural land, east of Abasan town, near the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis.
Local sources said that armored military vehicles advanced approximately 200 meters into farmers’ lands, and opened random fire in the air. No clashes were reported prior or after the invasion.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for January 11, to the 17, 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 me Ghassan Bannoura.