HAVANA TIMES — Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for August 24th to the 30th, 2013.
As Palestinian – Israeli new resumed peace talks continue, Israeli troops kill three Palestinian civilians during attacks targeting West Bank committees. 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. This week protests were organized in the villages of al Nabi Saleh, Bil’in, Nil’in in central West Bank, in addition Al Ma’ssara in southern West Bank.
Israeli soldiers used tear gas, chemical water and rubber-coated steel bullets to attack the weekly protests at the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin. Residents and their international and Israeli supporters, managed to reach the wall.
As a result of the soldiers attack on the two protests many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
At the nearby village of al Nabi Saleh, Israeli soldiers attacked the villagers and their supporters before leaving the village.
In addition Israeli troops stormed the village and fired gas bombs into resident homes. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Elsewhere, at al Ma’ssara village, Israeli troops stopped the villagers and their supporters at village entrance then forced them back using rifle butts and batons to push people back, no injuries were reported.
The Political Report
Palestinian leadership expressed concern over new Israeli settlement projects across the old city of Jerusalem, as negotiations have recently resumed. United Nations condemned this week destruction by Israeli authorities of Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem. IMEMC’s Rami Al Meghari has more:
In light of Israeli invasion of the West Bank refugee camp of Qalandya, Palestinian Authority called off a round of negotiations with Israel, slated Monday. Palestinians expressed deep concern over the Israeli killing of a few Palestinians in Qalndiya this week.
However, Israeli media outlets reported that both Israelis and Palestinians held a brief session in the West Bank city of Jericho. The sides returned back to negotiations last month with the help of Washington.
Israeli ongoing settlements construction on parts of the 1967 border lines, mainly in east Jerusalem are considered illegal by international law. United Nations condemned this week Israeli destruction of Palestinian homes in the east Jerusalem, ahead of more settlements projects.
In the Gaza Strip, the Islamist Hamas ruling party condemned in the strongest terms the Israeli invasion of Qalandya refugee camp and demanded an immediate halt of what it termed ‘ absurd negotiations between Israeli and the PA”.
Hamas renewed rejection to peace talks and insisted that resistance against the Israeli occupation is the means to gain national Palestinian rights.
At the internal Palestinian level, Fatah party’s representative to talks with the Islamist Hamas, warned of what he some tough decisions, to be taken by the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, unless Hamas agrees to holding general elections.
Hamas responded this week by reiterating stance that any elections can not be held until a conciliation deal is reached. Both parties have been at loggerheads since 2007, when Hamas took over Gaza and ousted Fatah party. Hamas won 2006’s parliamentary elections, followed by internal struggle within the Fatah party.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week the Israeli military conducted at least 49 invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza. During these attacks, Israeli forces killed three Palestinian civilians, injured 23 others including three children and troops kidnapped 29 Palestinians, including 4 children.
On Monday Israeli troops in civilian clothing conducted an early morning raid on the home of 23 year old Yousef Al Khateeb, from Qalandia refugee camp south of Ramallah. He was freed last year after serving 8 years in Israeli jails.
When neighbors and residents got word of the attack, they began protesting. Some threw rocks from rooftops at Israeli vehicles and tanks that invaded the camp. Jamal Laffi, head of the popular committee in the camp, witnessed the attack:
“They stormed the house and that caused clashes with local youth and the occupation soldiers, troops fired randomly, one of those killed was shot inside his home and the second one was killed as he was leaving his home to go to work. Soldiers did not fire any warning shots or tear gas at the youth, they only fired live rounds directly which resulted in most people being injured in the upper part of the body.”
Local sources identified those killed as Rubin Zayed 32, Jihad Asslan 22, and Younis Jahjouh.
Jahjouh was released from army detention as part of what is known as the Shalit prisoners swap deal between Palestinian armed resistance groups and Israel. To date, Israeli military forces have killed 14 Palestinians in 2013.
Also this week Israeli invasions and kidnappings of civilians were intensified especially in the cities of Hebron and Bethlehem, southern West Bank, Ramallah central West Bank, and Jenin in the north.
During these invasions troops broke into, searched and ransacked residents’ homes causing damage to their property. On Thursday Israeli soldiers assaulted a Palestinian civilian during house-to-house search in the city of Hebron.
In the Gaza Strip, on Monday four Israeli army bulldozers and three tanks invaded border areas near the northern Beit Hanoun city. Bulldozers destroyed farm lands while tanks opened fire at random. The attack forced farmers to move out of their lands fearing for their lives, no injuries were reported.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for August 24 to the 30, 2013 from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please keep visiting our website at www.imemc.org. This week’s report has been brought to you by Shamus Slaunwhite and me, Ghassan Bannoura.