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This Week in Palestine, December 13th, 2013
Welcome to This Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, http://www.imemc.org, for December 7 to 13, 2013.
A stormy weather in Palestine this week, unusual snow covered most of the country, despite that, the Israeli military was keen to invade towns, cities, villages and refugee camps and kidnap Palestinian civilians, in the meantime, U.S. Secretary of State visits the region to boost the peace processes, a visit that holds nothing new for the Palestinians, the details and more in the following report, stay tuned.
This week Israeli troops shot dead a 14-year old Palestinian boy and kidnapped 27 Palestinians in 56 military incursions into a number of West Bank areas.
On Saturday, 14-year old Wajdy Ramahy, was shot and killed by Israeli army fire near the Al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah
Ramahy was killed when Israeli soldiers fired at a number of Palestinian children who gathered and threw stones at them nearby “Beit Eil” settlement.
On Monday Israeli military bulldozers uprooted more than 40 Olive trees in order to connect settler road #60 with the Cremisan Monastery in Beit Jala town, west of Bethlehem southern West Bank, and other areas.
Orchard owners stated that the army uprooted 15 trees last month from their orchard in order to expand the road.
Later in the week a young Palestinian man was moderately hurt after being stabbed by an Israeli settler in Jaffa Road, in West Jerusalem, on Wednesday. Local sources said that Mohammad Marwan, 20 years of age, was heading back home from work when an Israeli settler stopped him to ask for a cigarette and, when the settler made sure that the young man was an Arab, he stabbed him.
Meanwhile a young Palestinian man died, on Thursday morning, of a serious injury suffered after being shot by an Israeli soldier in 2004 which put him in a wheel chair. Farid Al-Atrash a lawyer and activist said that his brother Mu’in Al-Atrash, 29, from the Deheisha refugee camp, fell into a coma six days ago, due to serious complications.
In Gaza this week Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of this week. Farmers were forced to leave their lands. Damage was reported but no injuries.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed concerns over critical shortages in medical supplies and electricity for Gaza health services -- shortages which are putting Palestinian patients' lives directly at risk, the Alternative Information Center (AIC) has reported.
In a recent press release, WHO notes that 30% of medicines and 50% of medical disposables are out of stock in Gaza's central drug stores. This means that patients are, too often, not receiving the appropriate kind or dosage of medicine. With the daily electric outages averaging at 14 hours, in addition to the scarcity and the high cost of diesel fuel, generators supply only the most pressing of needs.
IMEMC reporter in the Gaza Strip Rami Al-Meghari said today that many people in the coastal region are currently without electricity or gas. Today he was unable to record the weekly political report because of power outage.
In Political news, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the region for another wave of talks with Palestinian and Israeli officials. Upon arrival, Kerry met with Israeli officials on Thursday, on Friday he was scheduled to meet with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his headquarters in Ramallah.
The meeting was stopped after fifteen minutes as the U.S. security officers demanded that Kerry leaves Ramallah as the snow almost closed all entrances of the city.
In the meantime, Palestinian officials reiterated their stance that there can be no real progress in the peace process if the solution will not guarantee East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state and the release of all Palestinian political prisoners.
On Thursday, The Israeli government has decided on Thursday to drop the current draft of a bill to displace nearly 30,000 Palestinian Bedouins living in the Negev known as “The Prawer Plan”.
The plan was proposed by former Israeli Minister of Planning, Ehud Prawer in 2011 and was approved by the Israeli Parliament in June 2013.
Benny Begin, an architect of the Begin-Prawer Plan, told a press conference that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had accepted his recommendation to halt progress on the bill. Some observers have voiced concerns whether the bill has been shelved or just temporarily postponed.
The Prawer plan had triggered anger among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and also in Israel.
Most of these Bedouins live in villages that are not recognized by the Israeli government. They do not receive services from the Israeli government.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for December 7 to the 13th 2013 from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website at http://www.imemc.org. This week’s report has been brought to you by George Rishmawi and me, Ghassan Bannoura.
[Saturday, December 14, 2013] (Ma'an) Civil defense forces in the West Bank reported, on Saturday evening, that at least one person has died and 53 have been injured in storm-related incidents over the last four days.
4,165 storm-related cases have been assisted by civil defense since the storm began, rescuing a total of 5,980 people across the region, according to a recent report released by the public relations and media department of the civil defense forces.
Ramallah and al-Bireh were most affected by storm-related incidents, with 3,027 people involved in 1,586 separate incidents requiring help in the region.
Hebron was second, with 899 people involved in 790 incidents, including a case where the house of a roof collapsed during the storm.
The report stated that roads across the West Bank are all but impassable, and that civil defense crews continue attempts to reopen them.
Many incidents which required intervention involved drivers stranded in snowy areas, after their cars became stuck.
Luay Bani Odeh, director of civil defense forces, appealed to citizens not to leave their homes and not to overuse electricity, stressing the need for caution regarding heating appliances.
He also reminded the public of numbers to call in case of emergency, including 102 for Civil Defense, 101 for Red Crescent, and 100 for the police.
Jerusalem was covered by snow, on Friday.