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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Monday, December 7th, 2009.

Settlers step up their protest against Israel’s settlement freeze while troops kidnap five civilians during dawn invasions. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

The News Cast

Israeli settlers escalated their protest against the Israeli government’s decision to freeze settlement construction in the West Bank.

On Monday morning scores of settlers blocked a road leading to Jerusalem protesting the order given two weeks ago by the Israeli government.

At least a hundred police officers were deployed at the Ma’aleh Levona settlement, in the northern West Bank, to protect the state inspectors from the settlers, Israeli media reported.

One settler was injured during subsequent clashes, according to Israeli media sources.

Meanwhile around 400 settlers from religious schools also blocked the road leading to the Revava settlement, in the northern West Bank.

Last month Israel declared a freeze on settlement building for 10 months in a step towards resuming the stalled peace talks with the Palestinians.

However, the freeze does not include Jerusalem settlements or 3,000 Israeli housing units currently under construction in the West Bank. Under international law all Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem are illegal.

In other news, five Palestinian civilians were kidnapped by Israeli troops during pre dawn military invasions on Monday targeting a number of West Bank communities.

Israeli soldiers ransacked and searched homes in a number of Palestinian cities then took the men away, local sources reported.

The military radio announced that all the kidnapped Palestinians were taken to military camps for questioning.

Last week the Israeli army conducted at least 14 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and kidnapped at least 20 people, including 6 children.

Conclusion

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 Ghassan Bannoura.

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