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This Week in Palestine, February 15th, 2013
Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, http://www.imemc.org, for February 9th to 15th 2013.
Israeli military carried out 77 invasions into Palestinian communities this week, meanwhile, the Palestinians continue to fight the construction of the wall on their land through direct actions on the ground and in the Israeli court system, 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. Anti-wall and settlements protests this week were organized in solidarity with hunger striking Palestinian political detainees in Israeli jails. IMEMC’s Saher Alsous with the story:
Protests this week were reported in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, the nearby villages of Bil’in Ni’lin and al Nabi Saleh, as well as Al Ma’ssara village in southern West Bank in addition to Kufer Kadum, in the north.
In Ramallah city residents and families of political detainees held by Israel gathered near the Ofer military detention center near the city. as protesters tried to reach the detention center, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. Local youth clashes with the Israeli troops.
As a result 150 Palestinian were injured by Israeli soldiers’ tear gas and rubber-coated bullets, medical sources reported.
Moreover in the nearby villages of Bil’in, Ni’lin and al Nabi Saleh, soldiers also used tear gas to suppress the weekly anti wall protests. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin protesters managed to reach the Israeli wall build on there lands. While in al Nabi Saleh soldiers attacked protesters before even leaving the village.
Meanwhile in Al Ma’ssara and the village of Kufer Kadum, northern West Bank, Israeli soldiers used tear gas to force anti wall protesters back into the villages. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation at both locations.
The Political Report
International Human Rights organization says Israel violated the laws of war in its latest Gaza Stirp offensive, meanwhile, a court hearing is held on the issue of the wall near Bethlehem, the details in the following report,
Human Rights Watch said in report issued on Monday 12 February that Israel violated laws of war during the airstrike campaign in the Gaza Strip last November.
According to the a U.S.-based rights group, Israel carried out 14 airstrikes in which there didn't appear to be a valid military target, and four others targeting militants, but which used disproportionate force to do so. These strikes occurred between the 14th and 21st of November 2012, in a period of fighting Israel called “Operation Pillar of Defense.”
HRW said the attacks killed 43 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children. These included a bomb attack on a home in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalia that killed Fouad Hijazi, a 46-year-old janitor, and two of his children, ages 4 and 2.
An Israeli military spokeswoman told the Associated Press that "it is regrettable that the organization has opted to publish unverified claims," rather than waiting for the report by the Israeli Army.
On the other hand, HRW argues that these internal investigations usually do not use trained investigators and do not focus on laws-of-war violations, which is why the organization chose to publish their own findings.
The HRW report is based on interviews with residents, in which they were asked whether there was militant activity near the attack sites. It also checked whether the names of slain Palestinians were included in lists issued by Gaza resistance groups announcing the deaths of their fighters, in order to determine whether those killed were militants or civilians.
In the meantime, the battle against the construction of the wall near the Cremisan convent in Beit Jala continues. This week, the final hearing for the case of the Cremisan Valley against the Separation Wall was held in front of the Special Appeals Committee in the Magistrate Court in Tel Aviv. Advocate Manal Hazzan-Abu Sinni from the Society of St. Yves on behalf of the Salesian Nuns Convent and Advocate Ghiath Nasser on behalf of the land owners gave their closing arguments in a session lasting seven hours.
This final hearing took place after a series of court sessions that started in 2006, when the plans for the construction of the wall were submitted and the military seizure orders for the Cremisan Valley lands were handed over.
The courtroom was crowded due to the importance of the case. Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, William Al-Shomali, Beit Jala's Parish Priest, Father Ibrahim Shomali, and Beit Jala's Mayor Dr. Nael Salman came to observe the proceedings.
Despite of international demands for Israel to stop the settlement activities in the West Bank, Israel is moving forward with the construction of new settlements and the expansion of existing ones in the West Bank, which is, according to local observers a main threat to the peace process and the two-state solution.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week Palestinian Political detainees continued their hunger strike meanwhile the Israeli army conducted at least 77 military invasions into West Bank communities. In Gaza one child was killed and three others were injured when an unexploded army bombs exploded near them. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura has more
This week Israeli troops arrested 46 Palestinian civilians during the daily invasions targeting West Bank communities. Most invasions were reported in the cities of Hebron and Bethlehem, southern west Bank and Jenin and Nablus, in the north. Among those arrested by Israeli troops this week were eight children.
In other news, 300 Palestinian political detainees in Romon prison implemented a one day hunger strike this week in protest of Israeli’s ill-treatment and in solidarity with Samier Issawi who is on hunger strike for 200 days. The family of Issawi and his lawyers warned this week that his in life threatening health condition, Shrien, Issawi sister spoke to IMEMC:
Earlier in the week, the Israeli government approved the construction of 90 new houses in the settlement of Beit Eil near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, the Israeli Human right group Peace Now reported on Monday. According to Peace Now, the Israeli government announced the plan in the newspapers which means that the new wave of homes are already approved and construction may happen in the coming few days.
In the Gaza Strip this week, Palestinian sources reported on Thursday that one boy was pronounced dead and three others injured in two separate incidents of Israeli army un-exploded ordnance detonated near them in the northern part of the costal enclave.
Emad Abu Qadous, five years old, sustained head injures over the weekend when an unexploded bomb left by the Israeli army exploded near him in the town of Beit Hanoun. Doctors pronounced abu Qadous dead today, local sources in Gaza reported.
Meanwhile also on Thursday, three Palestinian children, between the ages of three and five, were injured when an explosive device left by the Israeli army detonated near them in the town of Beit Hanoun as well. According to the Palestinian ministry of health in Gaza the three children suffered critical wounds.
For IMEMC News this is Ghassan Bannoura.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine this was the Weekly report for February 9th to 15th, 2013 from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please keep visiting our website at http://www.imemc.org. Today’s report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me, George Rishmawi.