Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || 4 m 0s || 3.66 MB || Full ReportWelcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday, April 29, 2008.
On Tuesday The Israeli High Court of Justice in Jerusalem ruled against the villagers of Al Aqaba.
Al Aqaba village is located in the northern part of the West Bank. Two years ago the Israeli army issued orders in Al Aqaba cutting permission for Palestinian home construction from 3000 dunums of land to just 100.
The villagers contested this action in the Israeli Court, which today ruled in the Israelis Army’s favour.
The Al Aqaba village council stated that at least 60 per cent of village homes face demolition as a result of the decision.
The council added that the army has already distributed demolition orders to all the houses outside the permitted 100 dunums.
According to the village council, the Israeli army wants the land due to its strategic importance for military training.
Israeli security sources reported on Tuesday that the Israeli army intends to decrease the scale of military operations targeting the Gaza Strip in coming days to avoid any possible escalation in the region during Israeli holidays. Israeli radio reported that despite the tragic accident in Beit Hanoun on Monday, which left seven civilians dead, including four children, Hamas will not create an escalation. The Hamas movement has decided to wait for the Egyptian mediation efforts to broker a truce between Hamas and Israel.
The Jerusalem Post,, quoted Israeli army officials saying that American and Egyptian officials have been putting tremendous pressure on Israel in recent days to achieve a truce with the Hamas movement in Gaza prior to US President George W. Bush’s visit to Israel in mid-May.
Palestinian medical sources reported that a patient from Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, died on Tuesday because she was prevented by the Israeli army from leaving Gaza for medical treatment. Sou’ad Qushita, 54, had cancer and needed life-saving medical treatment unavailable in Gaza. Her family said that she had applied twice in the last week for permission to leave Gaza for medical care, but the Israeli army refused to grant permission because they claim that Israel is celebrating holidays.
The Gaza Strip has been placed under total siege by the Israel since June 2007, shortly after Hamas took power in the coastal region. Since then, 139 Palestinian patients have died for want of essential medical treatment as a result of this Western-backed siege. Yesterday The United Nations voiced concerns over the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip in the shadow of the strict Israeli blockade and deadly attacks.
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, condemned on Monday the latest Israeli army killing of eight Palestinians including a mother and her four children yesterday in the northern Gaza Strip.
Ki-Moon was quoted as saying ‘it is a responsibility of the security forcers to ensure protection for civilians, in accordance with the international norms’.
Meanwhile, operations director of United Nations Works and Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees in Gaza, Mr. Jhon Ging, held a press conference, condemning the Israeli army killing of a mother and children.
He also expressed concern over the humanitarian conditions in Gaza in the shadow of the shortage of fuel and essential food items, urging Israel to allow in shipments of fuel and cooking gas to Gaza’s 1.5 million residents.
Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, brought to you by Conscience Londres and Aaron Lakoff.