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This Week in Palestine week 14 2011 + audio

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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for April 2 to 8 2011

Israeli military steps up attacks against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank despite calls from the Palestinian President to the world to intervene to stop Israel’s attacks, these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.

Nonviolence
Lets us begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities in West Bank with David Steele

The Israeli army used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets on Friday to suppress the weekly anti wall protests in a number of West Bank villages.

Two were injured, and six arrested when Israeli troops attacked the weekly protest in the village of an-Nabi Saleh, in central West Bank. After midday prayers, villagers along with Israeli and international supporters marched to lands owned by local farmers that Israel wants to take for the construction of the wall and settlements.

Soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at civilians injuring two local youths. Later troops stormed the village and arrested three local men and three Israeli activists.

In Bil’in village, also in central West Bank, villagers along with their international and Israeli supporters marched towards the wall built on their lands after midday prayers.

As soon as protesters reached the gate of the wall separating local farmers from their lands troops stationed there attacked them using tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

On Tuesday of this week the army invaded the village of Bil’in and searched homes. Villagers there have been protesting the wall for the past six years.

The nearby village of Ni'lin held a similar protest on Friday. Villagers and their supporters marched up to the gate of the wall separating local farmers from their land. Israeli troops used tear gas and sound bombs to force people back. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

Also on Friday the villagers of al-Ma’sara, in southern West Bank, and their international and Israeli protesters conducted their weekly anti wall protests. Troops stopped the protest from leaving the village using rifle butts and batons.
For IMEMC.org this is David Steele.

Political
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on international bodies to pressure Israel to refrain from attacking the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Israeli prime minister,, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that Israel is concerned over regional developments. IMEMC's Rami Al-Meghari has more.

From Cairo, where he is holding talks with Egyptian leadership, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for halting ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza in wake of a new wave of violence in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas's call came while he is involved in talks over national unity between the Fatah and Hamas in Gaza for possible restoration of the that unity. Abbas said he is ready to visit Gaza along with Arab League's secretary , Amr Mousa, in an attempt to restore the national unity and prepare for general elections. Hamas is yet to response clearly to the call.

On the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, the president reiterated the Palestinian Authority's stance that the peace process can be back to track once Israel stops all settlement construction on occupied Palestinian lands.

Also, he reaffirmed the PA's move to win UN recognition for a Palestinian state on the 1967 border lines including east Jerusalem , West Bank and Gaza Stip.

Meanwhile, in Prague, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, voiced Israel's concern over underway developments in nearby Arab countries as far as chances of peace are concerned.

Amidst such fairs, a number of Israeli politicians called this week for embracing an Arab peace initiative of 2002 that calls for a comprehensive peace between Israel and Arab countries , based on 1967 borders.

In Washington, U.S President Barak Obama, believed that there should be chance for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Obama's thought comes as some European countries including France , Germany and UK, have proposed a peace initiative that is based on a two-state solution.

So far, the parties concerned have not reached any conclusion as to how they could re-re-launch a stalled peace process. In the meantime, violence is still going on in the region , particularly in the Gaza Strip, where at least 10 people including women and elderly men have been killed during Israeli attacks since Thursday, April7.

Rami Almeghari. IMEMC.org. Gaza


The Israeli Attacks Report
Hundreds abducted in the West Bank and 10 killed in the Gaza Strip due to Israeli military raids, the details and more with IMEMC Circarre Parrhesia

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) reported, this week, that demolition of Palestinian homes and other buildings by Israel reached record highs in March.

According to UNRWA, 76 buildings were demolished in March, resulting in the displacement of 158 people, including 64 children. This brings the total number of displaced persons in 2011 to 333, including 175 children. UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness claimed that this was “discrimination against one ethnic group”.

The village of Awarta, near Nablus in the north of the West Bank, has undergone three separate attacks this week by Israeli military forces, including closures of all access points to the village, the imposition of curfew upon the village and the detention of hundreds of residents of the village, including elderly women, who have been forced to submit DNA samples.

The attacks are a continuation of the collective punishment upon the village following the murders of five members of a family in the nearby settlement of Itamar over one month ago, despite the State of Israel providing no concrete evidence for the murderer, or murders, coming from Awarta.

The Israeli military abducted, on Wednesday morning, three Palestinians from the town of Hebron. The sources stated that the Israeli Military searched houses of Palestinian residents and handed them orders to appear at the nearest police station for questioning.

Israeli soldiers invaded on Thursday morning al-Aqaba village, east of the central West Bank city of Tubas, declared it a closed military zone, and proceeded to demolish two homes and bulldoze roads.

Sami Sadeq, head of al-Aqaba village council, stated that several roads close to the entrance of the village, and in its center, were bulldozed before the army demolished the two homes.

The Gaza Strip has seen a further escalation in hostilities this week, culminating in the death of 10 Palestinians and the injury of dozens more in the last 30 hours alone.

On Tuesday, a Palestinian man was killed in the buffer zone of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military claimed that they shot the man as he was armed and approaching the border, but Palestinian medical sources stated that no weapon was found at the scene.

Air raids were reported both Tuesday and Wednesday night in several areas, resulting in injuries to five civilians. Two were children, and two were women, one of whom is pregnant. Furthermore damage was reported to property including a plastics factory.

Following rocket fire from Gaza on Thursday, one of which struck an Israeli school bus in Beer Sheva injuring two, the Israeli military launched an assault upon Gaza using shelling from tanks, and aerial fire from a combination of F-16 fighter jets, Apache helicopters and unmanned drones.

Attacks were reported throughout the Gaza Strip and have, thus far, resulted in the deaths of ten Palestinians, eight of whom were civilians, and the injury of over 40 residents. Both the numbers killed and injured included children.

The two deceased who were not civilians belonged to the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, who claimed responsibility for the rocket fire from Gaza, along with the National Resistance Brigades, of the DFLP.

For imemc, this is Circarre Parrhesia.

And that was just some of the news from this week in Palestine, for more updates; please visit our website at www.imemc.org. Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem, This report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me George Rishmawi

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