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This Week in Palestine, December 14th, 2012
Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, http://www.imemc.org, for December 8th to the 14th, 2012.
Israeli attacks this week left three Palestinians dead and the Palestinian Authority threatens to go to the International Criminal Court if Israel continues settlement construction. These stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
The Nonviolence Report
Let’s us begin our weekly report with nonviolent activities organized in the West Bank. IMEMC’s Salam Qumsiyah has the story:
On Friday anti wall protests at the villages of Bil’in Ni’lin and al Nabi Saleh in central West Bank, as well as Al Ma’ssara village in southern West Bank in addition to Kufer Kadum, in the north.
Two men were injured when Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti wall protest at the village of Bil’in. Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters as soon as they reached the Israeli wall build on local farmers’ lands.
In the nearby Nil’in village, protesters also managed to reach the Israeli wall. many residents suffered effects of tear gas inhalation fired by Israeli troops.
Also in central West Bank Israeli troops used rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas to suppress the weekly protest at the village of al Nabi Saleh. Troops stopped the march at the village entrance and attacked protesters. Troops later stormed the village and fire tear gas at residents’ homes. many civilians, including children suffered effects of tear gas inhalation.
In Al Ma’ssara village, troops forced people back into the village and did not allow them to get to the wall. Soldiers used rifle buts and batons to bush people back, no injuries were reported.
For IMEMC News this is Salam Qumsiyah.
The Political Report
This week Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that Palestinian Authority may go to the International Criminal Court if Israel proceeds with its plans to construct 3000 settlers’ homes near occupied East Jerusalem, for IMEMC’s Rami Almghari reports:
Following the Palestinian Authority’s successful bid for non member status at the united nations last month , Israeli announced it would build about 3000 homes for settlers near East Jerusalem in what’s known as the E1 project.
On Tuesday of this week, the so called Israeli housing authorities approved construction bids for new homes. The expansion would connect the settlement of Ma’ale Admomim with Jerusalem, cutting the west Bank in two half, north and south as well as isolating Jerusalem for the rest of the West Bank.
The E1 Plan isn’t new. The Israeli government announced it back in the 90s but pressure from then U.S President Bill Clinton brought the plan to halt. Later in 2003 the Israeli government tried again but the plan was put on hold once more based on a request by the Bush administration.
Souhil Khalilia, is head of the Settlements Watch Unit at the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, he says the new settlement will destroy the chance for the two states solution:
Israel’s ongoing settlement construction and expansion brought the stumbling Palestinian-Israeli Peace talks to a total halt two years ago. The Palestinian leadership refuses to negotiate while Israel continues to build settlements.
In response to Abbas’s statements about the international criminal court, Israel’s Prime Minister Spokesperson said that if Palestinians take “unilateral steps” “Israel reserves the right to act to protect its interests.” Moreover the extreme right wing Foreign Minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, stated that should the Palestinian Authority head to the International Criminal Court, the move will be regarded by Israel as a “declaration of war on Tel Aviv”.
There are half a million Israeli settlers living in West Bank settlements and Jerusalem. All Israeli settlements on lands occupied since 1967 are illegal according to international law. Fouad Kokalieh, a Palestinian MP, says Israeli settlement activity should be condemned and stopped,
In addition to the US and Canada, Many European countries including France, The UK, and Spain have called on Israel to reconsider its plan. Palestinians say that they will use their right to protect their future state and its capital Jerusalem.
For IMEMC’s News this is Rami Almghari in Gaza
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week Israeli attacks targeting Palestinians left three dead, including a teenager that was shoot in cold blood by an Israeli soldier in the old city of Hebron southern West Bank, IMEMC’s Ghassan Banoura with the details:
On Wednesday of this week Muhammad Salaymah, who had just turned 17 was on his way home to celebrate his birthday with family and friends, when an Israeli soldier shoot him dead at a checkpoint inside the old city of Hebron, southern West Bank. Soldiers said that he tried to attack them with a gun. But Salaymah was not armed. He had a lighter that allegedly look like a small gun.
Witnesses told a different story than the Israeli military. Ra’ed Aby Rimilah, from the Israeli human rights groups Btsalem, said he saw the killing take place. He says he filmed it but Israeli soldiers arrested him and deleted the video before releasing him Thursday:
On Thursday At least 90 civilians were injured during clashes that erupted between local youth and soldiers in Hebron city after Salaymah’s funeral. Salaymah's death follows news that the army this week has given new orders to its forces in the West Bank allowing soldiers more freedom to use live ammunition against Palestinian. Salah Al Khawaja; from the popular nonviolent struggle committees in the West Bank; which organizes weekly protests against the Israeli wall and settlements. He says this Israeli policy is not new:
Also this week Israeli forces conducted at least 70 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these attacks, Israeli forces arrested at least 45 Palestinians, including 6 children.
In Gaza this week two Palestinians, died of wounds they had sustained during the latest Israeli offensive. On Sunday, Nasser al-Nahhal, 49, was pronounced dead in Egypt; he died of wounds that he sustained on November 18th. Later in the week Abdullah Abdul Fatah, 24, was announced dead in Egypt after succumbing to wounds he sustained on November 17th.
Moreover also on Wednesday one Palestinian worker was wounded when Israeli infantry moved 150 meters to the south of the border fence, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. Israeli soldiers opened fire at a group of workers, who were collecting gravel and firewood.
For IMEMC’s News this is Ghassan banoura
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine this was the Weekly report for December 8th to 14th 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.