HAVANA TIMES — Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for March 1st to the 7th, 2014.
Palestinian President Abbas announced this week that any peace deal with Israeli will be subject to a referendum by the Palestinian people first; meanwhile Israeli army and settlers’ attacks targeting Palestinians communities leave three killed this week.
The Nonviolence Report
Let’s begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities organized in the West Bank. This week a man was injured and many villagers were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli soldiers attacked the nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages.
On Friday protests were organized in the villages of al Nabi Saleh, Bil’in, Nil’in in central West Bank, and Al Ma’ssara village in the southern west Bank.
Israeli soldiers used tear gas and concussion grenades as well as rubber-coated steel bullets to suppress the weekly anti-wall and settlements protests in villages of Bil’in, Ni’lin, and the nearby al Nabi Saleh.
One man was injured when troops attacked protesters in Bil’in. Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters in Bil’in and the nearby Nil’in, as soon as they reached the gate in the wall that separates local farmers from their lands. Several protesters suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation and were treated by field medics.
In al Nabi Saleh village, Israeli troops fired several rounds of rubber-coated steel bullets at the villagers and international suporters before leaving the village. The soldiers also fired tear gas at residents homes causing damage to some homes.
Elsewhere in Al-Ma’asara village, Israeli troops stopped villagers and their supporters at the entrance of the village and forced them back, however, no injuries were reported.
The Political Report
Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas said this week that any future agreement with Israeli will be subject to Palestinian referendum inside and outside of the occupied territories. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamine Natanyahou, insisted that US cannot forge an agreement that would endanger Israel’s security.
US Secretary of States, John Kerry, arrived this Friday in Jordan over talks with Jordanian Monarch, Abdallah II, in a time Palestinian-Israeli peace talks reached a deadlock, despite heavy American intervention.
Kerry’s visit to Jordan came shortly after US President, Barak Obama, met with Israeli Prime Minister in Washington over ways to push the peace process forward. Natanyhou told his host that Israel will not accept halt of Israeli settlements building and that if Palestinians want a peace deal, they should recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
The Israeli high-ranking official added that any peace deal that would endanger Israel’s security, won’t be accepted by Israel. A part of John Kerry’s framework agreement till April this year, is allowing some international presence in the Jordan valley, as Palestinians insisted that the area is Palestinian and needs to be restored within any future peace deal with Israel.
In the meantime, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, retreated stance that any peace with Israel should be first subject to referendum by all Palestinians inside and outside of the occupied territories.
So far, both Israelis and Palestinians adhere to their positions; Israel wants to secure a Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish entity, while Palestinians demand full Israeli withdrawal from lands that Israel occupied in June4, 1967 including West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
In another news, the ruling Hamas party in Gaza rejected vehemently an Egyptian court’s ruling that outlaws the Islamist Palestinian Hamas party. Hamas responded that it has no formal presence in Egypt and that the group’s activities are directed against the Israeli occupation, mainly.
Tension between Hamas and nearby Egypt has been on the rise, since Egypt’s military ousted an Islamist president, Mohammad Morsi and prohibited the Islamic Brotherhood of Egypt, which has ties with the Hamas party in Gaza.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week Israeli army and settlers’ attacks left three Palestinians killed. Meanwhile Israeli troops conducted at least 65 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza.
During this week’s invasions targeting West bank communities, Israeli soldiers kidnapped 35 civilians, local sources reported.
Over the week end, Saleh Mlihat, 70, was killed on Sunday, after being run over by an Israeli settler, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Mosa Mlihat said that his father was run over during crossing the main street and transferred to hospital immediately.
Local sources said that a settler ran over Saleh Mlihat, throwing him 80 meters. Saleh died before reaching hospital.
Later in the week, three Palestinian farmers were injured on Thursday after being assaulted by Israeli settlers in the al-Mogheer village, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah. All three were moved to the Ramallah city Hospital suffering moderate-to-serious injuries, Palestinian medical sources reported.
In the Gaza strip this week, An Israeli fighter jet reportedly dropped a missile, late on Monday night and Tuesday at dawn, near Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza, killing two Palestinians and wounding three others, including a child.
Medical sources in Beit Hanoun said that they received three wounded Palestinians, including a female child. Although an Israeli military spokesperson claimed that the airstrike targeted Palestinian fighters who were attempting to launch a homemade shell towards Israel.
No Palestinian groups have claimed that the men were fighters with any armed resistance group. The area where the missile struck was a piece of farmland near the town of Beit Hanoun.
In other news the Egyptian Authorities continued the closure of Rafah crossing to Palestinian travelers, for the third week in a row, according to borders and crossings administration in Gaza.
Hundreds of Palestinians, including students and medical patients, have been stuck at both sides of the closed crossing. Egypt opens the Rafah crossing once a week for Umra pilgrims, while the humanitarian cases are still shouting for help.
The Rafah crossing has been the only way Gaza’s 1.8 million residents can travel to the outside world since the Israeli started in 2007.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for March 1st to the 7th 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.