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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre,, for Thursday, December 17th, 2009

The Israeli military removes a checkpoint from the West Bank and allow goods into the Gaza Strip. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

The News Cast

The Israeli police attacked a festival organized by Palestinians in Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday.

The festival was organized by the Palestinians Authority to mark the end of the Jerusalem the Capital of Arab Culture activities.

Witnesses said that Israeli troops and police attacked people gathered near Damascus Gate using batons and rifle butts. Officers then rounded up a number of participants, arresting them.

At least 20 people sustained cuts and bruises in the police attack, medical sources said.

Earlier this year the city of Jerusalem was chosen by the Arab League to be the Capital of Arab Culture for 2009.

The Israeli government banned all activities related to the event. Israel says Jerusalem is its capital and does not belong to Palestinians. Israel occupied the city of Jerusalem during the 1967 war.

Elsewhere the Israeli army removed a military checkpoint near the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday morning.

Witnesses told local media that soldiers removed the concrete blocks and the gate of the checkpoint known to Palestinians as Al Taneep. Troops then allowed people to drive though without stopping them.

The Israeli army has about 500 military checkpoints around Palestinian major cities and between villages in the West Bank. Those checkpoints effectively divide the West Bank into 64 separate areas.

In other news the Israeli military allowed food and fuel supplies to enter the besieged Gaza Strip on Thursday.

The army allowed 90 trucks of food into the coastal region and supplied the only power plant in Gaza with fuel needed to generate electricity, local sources said. They also allowed truckloads of flowers to leave the Gaza Strip.

Israel placed the Gaza Strip under siege in June 2007. Since then the military rarely allows supplies into the area, rendering the 1.5 million Palestinians living there short of food, fuel and medical supplies.


Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem, you have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Media Center, This report has been brought to you by Ghassan Bannoura.