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This Week in Palestine, May 19, 2017
Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, http://www.imemc.org, for May 13, to the 19, 2017.
Three civilians were killed this week by Israeli gunfire in separate incidents, meanwhile More Palestinian prisoners join the hunger strike which continues for over a month now. 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. On Friday Israeli soldiers attacked nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages using tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets. In central West Bank, nonviolent protests were organized in the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin. Troops used tear gas and rubber coated bullets against the unarmed protesters.
Both Bil’in and Ni’lin villagers and their international and Israeli supporters managed to reach the Israeli wall built on local farmers lands. At the village of Kufer Kadum, in northern West Bank, Israeli troops used live rounds and tear gas to attack villagers and their international and Israeli supporters. Many residents were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. Troops also fired tear gas at residents homes causing damage.
The Political Report
More Palestinian prisoners join the hunger strike which continues for over a month now, meanwhile Israeli Minister of Justice says no chance for a Palestinian state, IMEMC’s George Rishmawi with the details:
A least 300 more Palestinian prisoners joined the hunger strike in Israeli jails which started on the 17th of April by nearly 1500 prisoners. The committee in support of the hunger striking prisoners intensified calls for solidarity marches and protests and sit-ins across the West Bank.
The 1800 prisoners are now consuming only water and salt without any additives or supplements which is putting the lives of many of them on the line, to pressure the Israeli prison authorities to improve their life conditions in prison.
Initially called for by Fatah-affiliated prisoners, most notably imprisoned senior Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi, the hunger strikers’ demands are basic and can hardly be described as political. They include reinstating bi-monthly family visits, better medical treatment, and the right to education.
Hunger strikers are also calling for an end to Israel’s widely-condemned policy of “administrative detention”, which allows the imprisonment of individuals on “secret evidence” for without trial or charge for six-month intervals that can be renewed indefinitely.
In the past couple of years, several Palestinian prisoners have gone on individual and small-scale hunger strike to protest their administrative detention, raising fears that Israel would force-feed them, a practice that violates human rights standards. Some have managed to pressure Israel into releasing them, although some have been re-detained.
No serious negotiations have been announced between the prisoners and Israeli prisoner authorities, as of the time of writing this report.
In the meantime, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said, on Monday, that “there is no chance for a Palestinian state.”
Shaked was interviewed by Israeli media, during which she forwarded her message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The extremist minister also asked Netanyahu to pass this message to the US President Donald Trump, during his scheduled visit to the region on May 22.
Yet it seems that Netanyahu as usual has an even more extreme message to deliver to Trump. Israeli authorities, on Monday, approved the construction of over 200 new units in the ultra-orthodox Kochav Yaakov settlement, near Jerusalem.
According to Israeli online newspaper Haaretz, the construction plans were approved in the 1980s, says regional council chairman Avi Roeh, who now heads the politically-influential, settler Yesha Council. Roeh says this is simply an old, legitimate plan that got derailed due to a developer’s bankruptcy status.
“It’s a project with an approved urban plan of 1,200 units, 750 of which have been built,” he said.
Whether these settlement were approved in 1980s later or before, it does not make them legal according to International law.
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week one Palestinian and one Jordanian were killed in the West in separate incidents, meanwhile in Gaza navy attacks on Palestinian fishermen leave one killed. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura reports:
Mo’taz Bani Shamsa, 23, was killed, and a journalist was wounded, after an Israeli colonialist settler fired many live rounds at Palestinian protesters, in Huwwara town, south of Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank.
A Palestinian cameraman, identified as Majdi Eshteyya, was shot and moderately wounded with a live round fired by the settler. Following the fatal shooting, the Israeli assailants’ car struck an ambulance, and rammed three Palestinians, causing mild wounds.
The incident took place after Israeli soldiers attacked dozens of Palestinians, marching in solidarity with the detainees, ongoing with the hunger strike they started on April 17th. The death of the Palestinian led to clashes between dozens of local youth and Israeli soldiers, who also closed Huwwara road. On Wednesday four Palestinians were injured when Israeli soldiers clashed with protesters marching in solidarity with detainees on hunger strike in deferent locations in the West Bank.
On Friday, Abdul-Rahman only 18 months of age sustained serious wounds after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers at homes in ‘Aboud village, west of Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank. The soldiers also shot and injured five Palestinians with live rounds, one with rubber-coated steel bullets, and caused dozens of suffer the severe effects of teargas inhalation.
Earlier in the week, Israeli forces killed on Saturday a Jordanian civilian, Mohamed al-Kasaji, 57, after he carried out a stabbing attack against an Israeli officer near al-Silsilah Gate in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. According to the Palestinian Center for Human rights investigations, the Israeli forces could have arrested the abovementioned civilian; especially that he was wounded and could not move. However, one of the settlers’ guards fired another bullet at him and finished him off.
During the week, Israeli forces conducted at least 66 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank including Jerusalem. During these invasions troops detained 79 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children.
In Gaza this week, a Palestinian fisherman died, on Monday evening, from wounds he suffered during morning hours, after Israeli navy ships opened fire on fishing boats less than four nautical miles from the Gaza shore.
The fisherman, Mohammad Bakr, 25, was seriously injured after the navy fired many live rounds at the fishing boats, and was later moved to Barzelai Israeli Medical Center, where he died from his wounds.
Israeli navy ships attacked, on Monday morning, several Palestinian fishing boats, in Gaza territorial waters, northwest of Gaza city, abducted six fishermen, and confiscated a fishing boat.
For IMEMC News this is Ghassan Bannoura.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for May 13, to the 19, 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.