HAVANA TIMES — Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for May 17th to the 23rd, 2014.
Two Palestinian workers were killed at their Israeli workplace. Meanwhile Palestinian factions are still working to achieve a national unity government. These stories and more, coming up.
The Nonviolence Report
Let’s us begin our weekly report with nonviolent activities organized in the West Bank. Protests this week were reported in the villages of Bil’in, Ni’lin and al Nabi Saleh in central West Bank, as well as Al Ma’ssara in southern West Bank and Kufer Qadum in the north.
Many residents were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when troops attacked the weekly anti wall and settlements protests in the northern West Bank village of Kufer Qadum.
In central West Bank, Israeli soldiers attacked the anti wall protests organized on Friday at the villages of Bil’in, Ni’lin and al Nabi Saleh. Israeli troops used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets to suppress the three protests.
In al Nabi Saleh, protesters were stopped by Israeli soldiers at the village entrance, while in Bil’in and Ni’lin, protesters managed to reach the Israeli wall. Many civilians were treated from the effects of tear gas inhalation at the three protests.
Elsewhere in southern West Bank, Israeli troops stopped the weekly anti wall protest at Al Ma’ssara village entrance. Soldiers forced people back into the village using rifle buts and batons, no injuries were reported.
The Political Report
The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, is set to announce a national consensus government, soon. Meanwhile, some political parties objected to the way, such a government will be installed.
Former advisor for the ruling Hamas party in Gaza, Ahmad Yousef, was reported as saying that a new technocrat cabinet will be announced soon. According to Yousef, the new cabinet will be made up of about 15 members, mainly technocrat and non-politically affiliated.
Yousef said that Abbas will choose either one of three partisan candidates. The new cabinet will be in charge of government tasks for a period of six months and prepare for general elections, slated for early 2015.
Last month, both Hamas and Fatah agreed to reconcile, ending seven years of political splits. Meanwhile, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, objected to what the front termed exclusive meetings between Fatah and Hamas over the past few weeks.
At the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, President Mahmoud Abbas met last week in Venzuela, with top Israeli negotiator, Tsibi Livni. The meeting was informal and met with furry by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamine Natanyahou.
Natanyahou had unilaterally put off peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, in protest at latest Hamas-Fatah unity pact. Israel has considered the ruling Hamas party as ‘terrorist organization”, dedicated for the destruction of Israel.
This came after Abbas had assured that any unity government will recognize Israel’s right to exist and adhere to the political process.
United States, believed that both Palestinians and Israelis should decide over the fate of their peace talks and that peace is possible, if there is a will.
In other news, Pope Francis of the Vatican, who is visiting the region , said that his visit is purely religious’.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
Two Palestinian workers died in Israel this week, while on the job. Meanwhile Israeli attacks targeting the Gaza Strip have left at least five Palestinians injured this week.
Two Palestinian workers have died in a fire in central Israel while another has been injured after jumping to safety, according to medical sources. Medics said that the two men, both from the northern West Bank city of Nablus, were killed in a fire which started in a banquet hall, in Beit Nehemia.
Another worker was injured after he jumped from the second floor of the building. He was taken to Assaf Harofeh medical center, in Petah Tikva. Also on Wednesday, according to a local official, a young Palestinian was hit by a high-velocity tear gas canister during clashes with Israeli troops in the southern West Bank town of Yatta,
Meanwhile on Tuesday, 15 Palestinian residents lost their homes after the Israeli army bulldozed their tents near the areas of E1 settlement construction site, close to the already illegal settlement of Ma’ala Adomim. According to the owners, the army gave them no warning before destroying the structures. The Israeli government plans to build more settlements in the area after removing the Palestinian residents.
Elsewhere, Israeli soldiers demolished 20 barracks in Jiftlik village in the Jordan valley, on Wednesday morning. As a result of the military’s actions, 25 Palestinian families have been left homeless.
In the Gaza Strip this week, a Palestinian man was shot and injured by Israeli troops on Monday near the Erez border with Gaza. The 20 year old man was collecting construction materials when troops stationed near the borders shot him in the stomach, local sources reported.
The man is the second Palestinian to be shot in the same area by Israeli troops in less than 24 hours. On Sunday, a 20 year old worker was hurt by Israeli army gunfire near the Erez crossing. Israeli soldiers and tanks stationed at the borders open fire frequently at Palestinian workers and farmers causing injuries to some of them, local sources added.
Later this week, the Israeli army shot and injured a young Palestinian man in the head, on Wednesday morning, in the neighborhood of al-Farain, to the east of Khan Younis city, southern Gaza Strip. Also on Wednesday the Israeli Navy, attacked Palestinian fishing boats in Gaza waters, close to the shore in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The army reportedly also kidnapped two fishermen.
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 www.imemc.org. This week’s report has been brought to you by Samer Jaber and Ghassan Bannoura.