West Bank

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I’ve extracted this list from the ‘This Week in Palestine’ report on the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center website for the week ending February 22nd, 2013.

The list reminds us that each week and every week in Palestine concerned citizens hold non-violent protests and, each week and every week, these non-violent protests are met with intimidation and violence on the part of the IDF.

Father Dave

source: www.indybay.org…

The Nonviolence Report

Protests this week were organized at the villages of Bil’in Ni’lin and al Nabi Saleh in central West Bank, as well as Al Ma’ssara village and Hebron old city in southern West Bank in addition to Kufur Kadum, in the north. IMEMC’s Salam Qumsiyeh with the story:

Protests this week were organized in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel.

In southern West Bank Israeli troops attacked the protesters in Hebron old city and in al Ma’ssara protesters near Bethlehem with tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets. Palestinians were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

In al Ma’ssara village troops attacked the protest before it even left the village. In Hebron the prostest were organized in Al Shuhada’ Street in the old city part.

The Israeli army closed the street and cased Palestinians working there to shot their shops to provide what they call security for settlers living in illegal settlement near the street.

In central West Bank, Israeli soldiers also attacked the anti wall protesters organized on Friday at the villages of Bil’in Ni’lin and al Nabi Saleh. Israeli troops used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets to suppress the three protests as well.

The villagers and their international and Israeli supporters managed to reach the wall in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages. But al Nabi Saleh protesters were attacked by Israeli soldiers at the village entrance.

Elsewhere, in the northern West Bank village of Kufer Kadum, Israeli soldiers attacked the anti wall and settlements protesters with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. According to residents many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

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It is remarkable that so many of us in ‘the West’ continue to associate Palestinian activism with suicide bombing and acts of ‘terrorism’. Meanwhile peaceful protests continue across Palestine and hunger-strikers continue to suffer in Israeli gaols.

Father Dave

source: www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1302/S00138/palestine-rally-to-support-hunger-strikers-in-west-bank.htm…

Palestine: Rally to support hunger strikers in West Bank

Tuesday, 12 February 2013, 1:09 pm
Press Release: UFree

Rally to support Palestinian Prisoners and hunger strikers in West Bank

UFree Network to defend the rights of Palestinian prisoners along with a number of human rights’ organisations are organising a rally in West Bank to support Palestinian hunger strikers. The rally on Monday 11th Feb. 2013 from 11am where families or prisoners as well as Human Rights activists will take part.

Monday-action rally is called by families of Palestinian prisoners and organised by UFree Network, Prisoner Club, and the High Committee to support Prisoners and Yousef Al Sideeq organisation. It is expected that families of prisoners from Jerusalem, West Bank, Palestine 1948, and Gaza to take part in these events.

Meanwhile, former prisoners, representatives of Palestinian factions, public figures and members of National Reconciliation Freedom Committee will also participate in the action day. Shireen Al Isawi, sister of Samir Al Isawi who is on hunger strike for more than 200 days will take part. Sheikh Raed Salah as well as representatives of NGOs will deliver speeches.

read the rest of this article here: www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1302/S00138/palestine-rally-to-support-hunger-strikers-in-west-bank.htm…

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It seems that the Cairo meeting has borne some fruit! According to the article reprinted below, plans for a new unity government are now well underway, with a firm timetable for the reunification process to be delivered before the end of the month!

This is not good news for Israel which has pursued a ‘divide and conquer’ strategy of the two Palestinian factions since Hamas’ electoral victory in 2006. Ironically though, as the article also shows, it has been the recent actions of Israel – both the recent attack on Gaza and the new settlement initiatives in the West Bank – that have been the driving force behind the reconciliation!

Father Dave

source: www.plenglish.com…

Unitary Agreement Comes into Force in Palestine

Ramallah, Jan 18 (Prensa Latina) The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and Hamas organization will bring a timetable for reunification into force later this month, according to announcements today from the media involved in the talks that concluded yesterday between both parties. In the meeting, held in Cairo on Thursday, delegates from the two movements coordinated the mechanisms and dates to enforce Palestinian reconciliation, declared a spokesman by telephone from Cairo.

Coordination covers restarting the work of the Central Electoral Commission in the Gaza Strip by the 30th, at the very latest, said the report, while adding that in parallel, talks will be resumed on forming a nonpartisan transition government before the elections to the municipal councils.

Another initiative includes a session of the provincial leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, for a return to the group by Islamic Jihad and Hamas, the Islamist organization that governs Gaza.

The details from the report contradicted previous reports in the sense that delegations had been unable to reach agreements.

The renewed Palestinian conciliatory boost emerged late in November, during the three-week peak of Israeli naval, air and land attacks on Gaza Strip that killed more than 180 civilians, half of them women and children and wounded about 2,000, according to reliable calculations.

It also coincides with permission granted by the Israeli government to build over 6,000 homes for Jewish immigrants in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the seizure of tax revenues of the ANP by the Israeli government, in retaliation for raising Palestinian status at the U.N. to the level of non-member State.

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It needs to be noted, not only that these sorts of criminal acts go on all the time but that they take place with the blessing of the Israeli court during times of so-called peace!

One can only imagine if the Palestinian police attempted some sort of reciprocal act – trying, for example, to evict Israeli settlers from their colonial outposts in the West Bank. It would be interpreted as a provocation to war!

Father Dave

source: palsolidarity.org…

Palestinian village of Bab Alshams violently evicted

Posted on: January 13, 2013 |

13 January 2013 | PSCC, Occupied Palestine

Although established on privately owned Palestinian lands, Israel forcefully expelled residents of the village in a pre-dawn raid this morning. Six required medical attention.

Shortly before 3 am, hundreds of Israeli policemen and soldiers staged a raid on the newly founded Palestinian village of Bab Alshams (Gate of the Sun), violently evicting its 150 inhabitants. Use of police brutality is even more objectionable in light of the passive resistance offered by the residents. No arrests were made, and all persons detained were released shortly after.

In light of harsh international criticism over the plan to expand the Ma’aleh Edomim settlement, and in an attempt to draw away attention from the case, eviction took place early this morning. Following its arrival at the scene, a massive police force began by removing journalists from the residents’ immediate surroundings and proceeded to drag people away, beating some of them. Six Palestinians later required medical care at the Ramallah Hospital.

Following his release, Mohammed Khatib of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said, “We will not remain silent as Israel continues to build Jewish-only colonies on our land. Bab Alshams is no more, but during its short days it gave new life and energy to all who passed through it. Israel continues to act in violation of every imaginable law and human decency. In establishing Bab Alshams we declare that we have had enough of demanding our rights from the occupier – from now on we shall seize them ourselves.”

Read the rest of this article (and see some graphic pictures of the injured) here: palsolidarity.org…

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The concluding line of this article says it all: “Israel has reserved the right to carry out its own operations against militants in the West Bank.”

The fact that Israel ‘reserves the right’ for the IDF to go in and out of Palestinian towns and villages, playing the role of policeman, makes a mockery of the Palestinian Authority’s ‘control’ of the West Bank.

The sad irony is that while Mahmoud Abbas has achieved nothing for his people by trying to work with the Israeli authorities, Hamas seems to have made huge strides forward through their militancy! God knows this does not auger well for the future.

Father Dave

source: tvnz.co.nz/world-news/israeli-forces-continue-raids-in-palestine-5311167…

Israeli forces continue raids in Palestine

Israeli forces raided the West Bank city of Jenin in search of a suspected Palestinian militant today, setting off clashes with residents who threw rocks and petrol bombs at them, an Israeli security source said.

It was the second time this week that Israeli forces had entered the Jenin area to detain suspects.

On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers disguised as Palestinians raided the village of Tamoun, arresting a member of the Islamic Jihad group. Several dozen Palestinians were injured in ensuing clashes, medical officials said.

In today’s incident, the soldiers clashed with some 500 Palestinians, forcing them out of Jenin, the security source said. An elderly Palestinian woman was slightly injured by a dog used by Israeli forces during the operation.

A military source said a Palestinian was arrested in Thursday’s raid – though not the suspect in whose pursuit Israel had launched the operation. The source did not give further details on the detainee.

Jenin is under the control of the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace accords with Israel.

Israel has reserved the right to carry out its own operations against militants in the West Bank.