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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday November 17th, 2009.
Israel’s military kidnaps civilians from the West Bank and attacks border areas in the Gaza Strip. These stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
The News Cast
Five Palestinian civilians were kidnapped on Tuesday by Israeli troops during military invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities.
Local Palestinian sources reported invasions to the cities of Ramallah, central West Bank, as well as Hebron and Bethlehem in the south. The army radio said all five kidnapped men were taken to military detention camps for questioning.
In other news a group of Israeli settlers attacked on Tuesday two international volunteers at the village of Towani in the southern West Bank. The two are members of Christian Peace Makers Teams (CPT) and were walking a Palestinian family to the nearby village of Tuba when settlers attacked them. They sustained minor injuries.
CPT informed by telephone the IMEMC that the settlers came from the nearby illegal settlement of Havat Ma’on. Villagers of Towani and Tuba suffer regular attacks from the settlers of Havat Ma’on hence the necessity for CPT workers to accompany farmers and families on their journeys between villages.
Elsewhere, a number of Israeli tanks and bulldozers invaded at noon on Tuesday the boarder area near Gaza City. Local Palestinian sources said that four bulldozers and six tanks rolled into Khaza town, close to the border. Witnesses said that as the bulldozers destroyed farm lands tanks opened fire on neighbouring homes. Damage was reported but no injuries. Resident claim that such invasions are a daily occurrence along the border areas.
In other developments, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced today from Cairo that he will go ahead with his plan to seek a UN Security Council declaration of Palestinian statehood, based on the 1967 borders- which include the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and east Jerusalem.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said ‘unilateral action wasn’t a substitute for negotiations’. President Abbas declared today that his move is backed by the Arab leaders.
Fayez Al Saqqa is a Palestinian MP from President Abbas’ Fatah party. He said they are frustrated by 18 years of failed peace negotiations.
An adviser to president Abbas said they are seeking support for the U.N declaration from the international community, including the E.U and the U.S. But some u-s lawmakers already promised a veto, including Senator Joe Lieberman.
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. This report has been brought to you by Zak Brophy.