HAVANA TIMES — Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for October 26th to November 1st, 2013.
The Israeli government this week approved 1500 new homes for West Bank settlers meanwhile troops attacks targeting Palestinian communities left five 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. On Friday, five Palestinian civilian were injured when Israeli troops used tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets to attack the weekly protests organized at a number of West Bank communities.
Anti wall and settlements protests were organized this week at 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.
Israeli soldiers stationed there fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel at the unarmed protesters. As a result three civilian were slightly wounded by rubber-coated steel bullets in Bil’in while many others were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation in both locations.
Meanwhile in the nearby village of al Nabi Saleh, Israeli soldiers used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets to suppress the villagers and their supporters before leaving the village. two residents were wounded after being hit by rubber-coated steel bullets
Shortly after Israeli soldiers stormed the village and fired tear gas at residents’ homes. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Elsewhere Israeli soldiers attacked the residents of al Ma’ssara and their supporters at the village entrance. Troops used rifle butts and batons to force people back. No injuries were reported.
The Political Report
This week twenty Six Palestinian prisoners set free, meanwhile the Israeli government approved the construction of 1500 new settlement units in the West Bank.
Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, stated that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas never accepted a transitional solution to the conflict, and will never abandon the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
Erekat said that such rumors are unfounded, and violate the understanding reached between Israel and the Palestinians, clearly stating that direct peace talks aim at attaining a solution on all final status issues without transitional or partial agreements.
He said that all talks with Israel are currently focused on core issues of the final status, adding that transitional solutions were never discussed.
Erekat’s statements came following Israeli allegations on Tuesday evening that Abbas is showing some leniency towards accepting transitional solutions after he has always rejected them.
The chief Palestinian negotiator also commented that by doing so, Israel is testing the grounds for transitional solutions, and said “in real life, such statements are nonsense, and baseless”.
Erekat also affirmed that Israel must stop the ongoing illegal settlement expansion which forms a clear violation of all agreements.
Such comments come as the Israeli government has announced it intention to build additional 1500 units for Jewish settlers in the illegal settlement of Ramat Shlomo, in occupied East Jerusalem.
In the meantime, Israel freed 26 Palestinian prisoners from its jails as part of an agreement, mediated by the United States, to ensure the resumption and continuation of peace talks that were halted for three years due to ongoing Israeli violations, including invasions, arrests, and ongoing settlement activities.
The agreement is meant to ensure the release of all 104 detainees held by Israel since before 1993 on four stages.
Back in mid-August, Israel released the 26 veteran detainees, held since before Oslo; 14 of them are from Gaza and 12 from the West Bank.
Political analysts said the latest Israeli decision to build new settler units is meant to calm the political climate in Israel in the aftermath of the release of the Palestinian prisoners.
On his part, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinian have never accepted the release of prisoners in return for accepting Israel’s settlement activities.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week the Israeli army conducted 61 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza. During these attacks Israeli troops killed five Palestinian and kidnapped 49 others. IMEMC’s Salam Qumsiy reports:
Two Palestinian law makers and two children were among those kidnapped by the Israeli army this week. Both officials, Nizar Ramadan and Mohammed Bader, were kidnapped by Israeli troops on Tuesday of this week from Hebron city. The Israeli army kidnapped 20 Palestinian men in total on Tuesday.
On Friday, the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, has reported that four of its fighters have been killed during armed clashes with Israeli soldiers who invaded areas east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
Several residents were injured as the army bombarded Khan Younis while dozens of soldiers advanced into the area using armored vehicles. Israeli military helicopters also fired a number of missiles and dozens of rounds of live ammunition.
The Brigades added that its fighters ambushed Israeli vehicles invading an area east of Khan Younis, and opened fire at them wounded five soldiers.
On Monday, the Israeli Air Force fired at least one missile at an area close to an elementary school, northwest of Gaza city. Damage was reported but no injuries.
Elsewhere, Israeli soldiers killed on Thursday at dawn a Palestinian young man and kidnapped four others during an invasion targeting Qabatia town, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
Ahmad Imad Tazaz’a, 22, was shot by a live round in the heart during clashes with the invading soldiers, local sources reported.
Also in northern West Bank this week, a group of Israeli settlers uprooted on Wednesday 600 olive tree owned by Palestinian farmers from the village of Einaboos south of Nablus city. Villagers said that the settlers came from the nearby Yitshar illegal settlement.
Earlier in the week a number of extremist Israeli settlers attacked on Monday a Palestinian man in his own land, near Nablus, before settlement guards kidnapped him instead of removing the settlers.
In Jerusalem this week Several Israeli military jeep, and police vehicles, accompanied by bulldozers, invaded Beit Hanina, in occupied Jerusalem, on Tuesday, and demolished an apartment building.
The owner, Amin Shweiky, said that dozens of soldiers invaded the area, declared it a closed military zone, and demolished the building without any warning. He added that that the families were not even granted time to remove their furniture and belongings from the building.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for October 26th to November 1st, 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.