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Israeli army troops have arrested 11 people after clashes erupted during a demonstration in Walaja, a village in the West Bank.

Those arrested included Palestinian, Israeli and international activists who were protesting against the construction of Israel’s separation barrier.

"Some 80 Palestinian and Israeli activists hurled stones at Israeli forces who dispersed them with riot control gear. Eleven were arrested and the crowd dispersed," an Israel army spokeswoman said.

The “Grassroots Jerusalem” group who organised the demonstration said in a press release that Israel was uprooting dozens of trees in the West Bank village in preparatory work for the construction of the barrier, which the International Court of Justice in The Hague has deemed illegal.

The separation barrier loops around Israeli settlements and Palestinians say it is a land grab that will cut them off from the agricultural fields they use to make a living.

Israel began building the barrier in 2002 and it is planned to extend for about 790km.

(Watch the Video from Y-day Demonstration)..


Israel approves 1,600 Jerusalem settler homes..

 Lachmanovich said the final approvals were “economic” not political, tying the final go-ahead to protests over housing prices and the cost of living that have shaken Israel in recent weeks.

"These are being approved because of the economic crisis here in Israel, they are looking for a place to build in Jerusalem, and these will help," he said.

"This is nothing political, it’s just economic."


Communications 'blackout' in Gaza..

Telecommunications in Gaza were severed late Tuesday, cutting off Internet, mobile phones and international landline connections for hours, a Ma’an correspondent reported.

Calls to Gaza were met with error messages or dial tones, and the blackout seemed to affect multiple platforms including regular landline services as well as mobile access including Israeli services. 

A technician at Jawwal, the main mobile provider in the occupied territories, told Ma’an the company was aware of reports that residents were experiencing technical difficulties. 

People with subscriptions to international services like Blackberry were able to communicate, but some said reception was spotty and unreliable. Israeli wireless Internet remained online in some places. 

Meanwhile, residents of Gaza near the border with Israel said army bulldozers were seen operating shortly before communications went offline. An army spokeswoman denied the account.

Construction of 7,000 new settlement units in Jerusalem under way

The Israeli occupation authorities are planning on carrying out plans to build 7,000 new settlement units in Jerusalem, Israeli media outlets have reported.

Underway construction plans in the occupied city have accumulated since US Vice-President Joe Biden last visited a year and a half ago.

Now plans to build 1,328 units in Ramat Shlom will be put to the expedited building committee formed by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in 60 days. These were the same plans that caused crisis between the US and Israel during the Biden visit.

A local planning and construction board also approved 900 homes to be built in the Gilo settlement, and another plan under discussion by the expedited building board for 625 units in Pisgat Ze’ev is slated to begin taking effect.

A separate 930 units have been approved to be built in Har Homa (Jabal Abu Ghneim) between Jerusalem and Bethlehem earlier this week.

Meanwhile, EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton has condemned the recent approval of the Har Homa project, saying that she was ‘’disappointed’’ by the decision.

‘’The European Union has repeatedly urged the government of Israel to immediately end all settlement activities in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem. All settlement activities are illegal under international law,’’ she added in a statement.

Palestinians Hold Non-violent Anti-Wall Protests In 4 Villages

Non-violent protests took place on Friday in the central West Bank villages of al-Nabi Saleh, Bil’in, and Nil’in in addition to al-Ma’ssara in the southern West Bank.

Local and international protesters were tear gassed today as they marched in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. Unlike other recent protests in the village, Israeli soldiers did not meet the protesters in the village but along a road leading out of the town.

After the march Israeli soldiers entered the village and threw a tear gas canister into a house where protesters had gathered. As protesters escaped the house, more tear gas was shot into the streets. In recent weeks Israeli soldiers have stepped-up their efforts in Nabi Saleh, declaring the village a closed military zone and stopping activists and journalists before even reaching the village.

In Bil’in village, also in central West Bank, dozens of Palestinian villagers in addition to Israeli and International peace activists marched after the Friday prayers from the mosque to the lands confiscated by Israel to build the wall.

A tractor carrying chairs and trash cans drove in front of the marchers who were heading to Abu Laimun’s family land in order to turn it into a public park for the village. However troops showered them to tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets in addition to an unknown foul-smelling chemical material. Dozens suffered from tear-gas inhalation and were treated by field medics.

This week, people in Bil’in marched in support of the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN in September. Troops used tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets also to suppress the anti wall protest in the nearby village of Nil’in. Villagers were joined by Israeli and international supporters after the midday prayers and marched up to the wall.

Troops fired tear gas at protesters causing many to suffer from tear gas inhalation. In southern West Bank, many people were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as troops attacked the anti-wall protest organized in al-Ma’sara village near Bethlehem. Soldiers attacked protesters as they tried to reach land owned by local farmers that had been taken by Israel for the wall.

PLO Report: “Six Palestinians Killed in July, 230 Kidnapped, 32 Structures Demolished”

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) reported that, in July, Israeli soldiers killed six Palestinians, kidnapped 230 others, and demolished 32 homes and structures in the occupied territories. Israel is also planning a new settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.

The PLO said that Israeli soldiers and settlers are ongoing with their attacks and violations in the occupied territories, and that the soldiers shot and killed six Palestinians, demolished 32 homes and structures, in addition to kidnapping 230 Palestinians in numerous invasions into the occupied territories. 

The International Relations Department at the PLO stated in its monthly reported that was released on Wednesday, that Israel is targeting the residents, their lands and their Muslim and Christian holy sites. 

It added that the Israeli government is working an approving a new settlement project in Abu Ghneim (Har Homa) illegal settlement. The 97 Million USD project, dubbed as Oz Tzuffim, includes 97 units and the related infrastructure. 

The department also stated that the so-called “Construction and Planning Committee” of the Jerusalem Municipality approved the “Tolerance Museum” that will be built on the Ma’man Allah historic Islamic graveyard in occupied Jerusalem.

The recent approval came despite the fact the Israeli Authorities has been digging the graveyard and desecrating the graves since many years, the department added.

Also, the Israeli Ministerial Legislation Committee of the Knesset modified the “law of Public Parks” in order to allow the El Ad extremist settler organization to takeover public parks in Silwan Palestinian town, in occupied East Jerusalem. 

In related news, the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan revealed that Israel is constructing a new tunnel under Wadi Hilweh neighborhood, and that the tunnel heads towards the southern wall on the Al Aqsa Mosque. 

In the Gaza Strip, Israel continued its siege and violations, and carried out repeated airstrikes that caused excessive damage to four buildings and several homes. Several Palestinians were killed and injured as the army also bombarded siege-busting tunnels in Gaza.

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