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This Week in Palestine, August 31st, 2012
Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, http://www.imemc.org, for August 25th to 31st 2012.
President Abbas attends the non-aligned movement summit in Tehran, meanwhile settler and military violence intensifies in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
The Nonviolence Report:
Let’s begin our weekly report with the nonviolent activities in the West Bank Israeli soldiers used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets to suppress anti wall protests that was organized at the villages of Bil’in, Nil’in and Nabi Saleh in central West Bank, as well as the village of Al Ma’ssara near Bethlehem. IMEMC’s Salam Qumsiyeh has more:
In central West Bank, troops used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets against Bil’in residents and the international and Israeli peace activists who joined the weekly anti-wall protest. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation and along sprayed wastewater mixed with chemicals. This week's protest was in solidarity with the family solidarity American Rachel Corrie who was killed by the Israeli military in Rafah in the Gaza Strip in 2003. Protesters carried Rachel's photos and Palestinian flags during the protest.
On Tuesday, an Israeli court said the death of Rachel was an accident and that she died because she was not a thinking person.
On Friday two Palestinians Malek and Omar al-Tamimi were injured during a nonviolent protest in the village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. Malek was hit with two bullets, one to his arm and one to his side. His wound were described as serious and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. In the meantime, Omar al-Tamimi received a rubber-coated steel bullet to his head, but his wounds were described as moderate.
Israeli troops opened random fire and tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse the protesters who insisted in voicing rejection to the wall and settlements Israel is building in the occupied West Bank. Another girl was wounded when a gas canister hit her foot, and was treated by field paramedics.
In Al-Ma'asara village near Bethlehem, Israeli troops used violence to disperse the protesters who marched after the Friday prayer in the village heading to the confiscated areas.
Troops used their plastic shields to push the protesters which wounded a number of Palestinian and International activists. The demonstration in al-Ma'asara was in protest of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statements which support the ongoing settlement activities in the West Bank and in the 25th anniversary for the assassination of the prominent Palestinian cartoonist, Naji el-Ali.
For IMEMC News this is Salam Qumsiyeh
The West Bank & Gaza Report
Israeli settler and Military violence continue in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, against Palestinian civilians, especially against fishermen in Gaza, IMEMC’s Catherine Anderson with the details:
Israeli forces conducted 64 invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank this week. 24 Palestinians, including 7 children, were abducted.
Additionally, Israeli forces abducted 6 Palestinian civilians at military checkpoints in the West Bank and fired live bullets and sound bombs in the Wad al-Hussain area, injuring a man with shrapnel while he was inside his Hebron home.
On 16 August 2012, the Israeli government issued a decision to evacuate the settlers from shops in the market and return the shops to their Palestinian owners. The decision places al-Hisba Market, in the old town of Hebron under the Hebron settlement council’s control. This decision was a response to a petition filed by human rights organization, Peace Now, at the Israeli High Court.
Israeli settlers continue to attack Palestinian civilians and their property. In all this week, 69 olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers were burnt or demolished and 83 broken and damaged. Land confiscations totaled nearly 15,000 square meters and 30 demolition notices were delivered to West Bank residents by Israeli military. One Palestinian was severely injured, one car burnt, and over $17,000 dollars worth of crops destroyed by Israeli officials in the course of the week. Israeli soldiers continue to block Palestinians from defending their property and land.
In Gaza, a woman was seriously wounded when Israeli forces at the border between Gaza and Israel opened fire at Palestinian farmers.
Also in Gaza, Israeli troops abducted 9 Palestinians, including 3 children over the course of the week.
Israeli forces continue to fire at Palestinian fishing boats in the Gaza Strip. PCHR, The Palestinian Center for Human rights, documented 6 attacks this week, none of which were fatal, though a fishermen and his son were abducted, the Israeli military confiscated their boat.
On 28 August 2012, Israeli warplanes bombarded and heavily damaged a former security and training site for the Palestinian resistance in Gaza City.
Two nearby schools were also damaged in the attack.
Israel continues to keep borders to Gaza closed, isolating the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
For IMEMC this is Catherine Anderson
The Political Report
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, participate in the non-aligned Movement summit in Tehran this week, meanwhile France to open an investigation into Yasser Arafat's death, more in the following report.
Majdi Al-Khaldi, senior consultant of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said there were three important issues affirmed in the non-aligned Movement summit held this week in Iran, concerning the Palestinian question. The summit, which was attended by some 120 countries, affirmed the right of return of the Palestinian refugees and that Jerusalem is the capital of the future Palestinian state.
The summit also affirmed that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Al-Khaldi added that the summit called on Israel to release all Palestinian prisoners from its jails.
Abbas also met with the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who urged Abbas to move the reconciliation talks between the rival Palestinian parties, Fatah and Hamas to Tehran.
Abbas' visit came after tension between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas after reports that Ismael Haniyeh, the Prime Minister of the Deposed Hamas government in Gaza Strip was also invited to the summit.
Iran later on stated that Abbas is the only one invited to represent Palestine at the summit lowering the tension.
Abbas was hoping to warm the relation between the PLO and Tehran after several years of tension after the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat sided with the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in his war with the Islamic Republic.
Speaking of Arafat, the French Prosecution decided to open an official investigation into his death in 2004 after becoming sick while under siege by the Israeli military in his Ramallah headquarters.
The Prosecutors Office in Nanterre, west of Paris, decided to initiate an official investigation into the issue after Arafat’s widow, Suha, filed an appeal last month demanding an investigation into her husband’s death, in order to reveal whether Arafat was poisoned by Polonium. It is worth mentioning that Suha Arafat, born in Jerusalem, is a French Citizen.
The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV conducted a 9-month report that was broadcast two months ago, and revealed that traces of Polonium, a highly poisonous chemical element, were found on Arafat’s clothes and belongings that he used prior to his death.
Al-Jazeera said that a well-known and well-respected Swiss lab conducted the tests and came to the conclusion that Polonium was used in the murder of Arafat.
The lab conducted biological tests on different private belongings and clothes that Arafat used, including his toothbrush, and his hat, in addition to clothes that had blood or urine on them.
After uncovering Polonium, the lab decided that Arafat’s body must be exhumed in order to examine the soil that covers his body, and to examine his bones. Such an exhumation requires the approval of the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) in the West Bank, which was immediately granted.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine this was the Weekly report for August 25th to 31st 2012 from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website at http://www.imemc.org. Today’s report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me, George Rishmawi.