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This Week in Palestine, March 17, 2017
Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, http://www.imemc.org, for March 11, to the 17, 2017.
This week an Arab UN diplomat resigns over withdrawal of a report accusing Israel of practicing Apartheid in Palestine, meanwhile Israeli army gunfire leave a child and a young man killed this week. These stories, and more, coming up, stay tuned.
The Nonviolence Report
Let’s begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities organized in the West Bank. Civilians were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli troops attacked nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages. IMEMC’s Majd Batjali with the details:
In Kufer Kadum in northern West Bank many residents were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as Israeli troops attacked the weekly protest there. Troops later stormed the village and fired tear gas into residents homes.
Meanwhile in the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin, in central West Bank, Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters as soon as they reached the gate in the wall that separates local farmers from their lands. Many protesters suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation and were treated by field medics at both locations.
Also on Friday scores of Palestinian and Israeli activist joined the villagers of at-Tuwani near Hebron in southern West Bank to protest the Israeli settlers and army attacks of the villagers there. The protest, Freedom March was organized by Combatants for peace.
For IMEMC News this Majd Batjali.
The Political Report
An Arab UN diplomat resigns over pressure to withdraw a report accusing Israel of practicing Apartheid in Palestine, meanwhile, Trump’s envoy concludes an important visit in the region, IMEMC’s George Rishmawi has more:
The head of the United Nation’s West Asia commission, Rima Khalaf, resigned on Friday, after what she described as pressure from the secretary general to withdraw a report accusing Israel of imposing an “apartheid regime” on Palestinians.
The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which comprises 18 Arab states, published the report on Wednesday and said it was the first time a U.N. body had clearly made the charge.
Khalaf’s resignation came in a press conference held in Beirut on Friday during which she said that this is the first report of its kind from a UN agency that shed light on “the crimes that Israel continues to commit against the Palestinian people, which amount to war crimes against humanity”.
Khalaf also said that “It was expected that Israel and its allies would put enormous pressure on the United Nations secretary general to renounce the report.”
On his part, UN Secretary General António Guterres asked the regional commission to take the report of its website immediately. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the report was published without consultation with the UN secretariat.
Dujarric said “This is not about content, this is about process.”
In other news, U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy held his first talks on Tuesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, during a visit to the region that included Palestine, Israel and Jordan.
Jason Greenblatt’s meeting with Abbas came one day after a lengthy meeting with Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians who seemed to be optimistic with this visit.
Greenblatt tweeted after the meeting, that he discussed with Abbas how to make progress toward peace, building capacity of Palestinian security forces & stopping incitement.
It is worth mentioning that last Friday Trump held his first telephone conversation with Abbas since becoming president and invited him to the White House.
While Palestinians are concerned that the new administration in Washington is more favorably disposed toward Israel, Abbas stressed that the Palestinian strategic choice was to achieve a two-state solution and told Greenblatt he believed that under Trump’s leadership “a historic peace deal was possible”.
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week Israeli army attacks targeting West Bank and Gaza communities leave one child and a young man killed. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura reports:
A Palestinian teenager was killed, on Friday, another injured by Israeli army gunfire at the entrance of Al Aroup refugee camp near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.
16 year old Murad Abu Ghazi was killed after troops shot him in the chest another child was also injured in the chest and moved to a local hospital in Hebron where he lies in critical conditions, local sources reported. The teenagers were shot as troops opened fire at residents home close to the camp entrance which lead to clashes between soldiers and local youth.
Earlier in the week, Israeli soldiers killed, Monday, a young Palestinian man in the Asbat Gate area, in Jerusalem’s Old City. The Israeli army alleged that, Ibrahim Matar, 25, attacked and stabbed two soldiers before they shot him. Later, the soldiers invaded Jabal al-Mokabber neighborhood, southeast of Jerusalem, broke into the home of the slain Palestinian and abducted his parents, and his uncle.
On Wednesday, 17 year old Fatmaa Taqatqa was critically injured by Israeli soldiers’ gunfire near the illegal Israeli settlement bloc of Gush Etzion. The Israeli army announced that the troops opened fire at the teenager when she tried to run her car into Israeli soldiers manning a checkpoint at the entrance of the settlement located between the southern West Bank cities of Hebron and Bethlehem.
Taqatqa, from the town of Beit Fajar near Bethlehem, sustained critical wounds and was moved to an Israeli hospital. Her family denied the army allegations and told local news that the incident is most likely to be traffic accident.
Earlier, Israeli soldiers shot, and injured, Wednesday morning, a Palestinian worker near a military roadblock, east of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, while trying to enter occupied Jerusalem.
During the week, Israeli forces conducted at least 91 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and in occupied Jerusalem. During these invasions, Israeli troops detained at least 80 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children.
In Gaza this week, Israeli Air Force fired missiles into grounds run by the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, and into Palestinian lands, causing damage on Thursday. another missile struck vacant lands in the Zeitoun neighborhood, in Gaza Strip, and close to Karni cargo crossing, east of Gaza, causing damage.
The Israeli army claimed it fired missiles into Gaza in retaliation to a shell, fired on Wednesday at dawn, into an open area in the Sdot HaNegev regional council of settlements, causing no damage or injuries.
For IMEMC News this is Ghassan Bannoura.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for March 11 , to the 17 , 2017. From the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website at www-dot-imemc-dot-org, This week’s report has been brought to you by Sa’ed Naji and me Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura.