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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday, December 22nd , 2009

The Israeli military hands out demolishing orders to farmers in the Jordan valley and kidnap civilians from the West Bank. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

The News Cast

Israeli troops on Tuesday handed out demolition orders to Palestinian farmers from deferent areas in the Jordan valley.

Local sources said that the demolishing orders targeted animal huts and farming infrastructure used by local farmers.

According to the military the farmers were building close to Israeli settlements and military basses, which were built on land taken from those farmers.

Staying in the West Bank, Israeli troops kidnapped on Tuesday nine Palestinian civilians during pre dawn invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities.

The Israeli army radio announced that all those kidnapped men were taken to military detention camps for questioning.

The Israeli army last week conducted at least 16 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and troops kidnapped 17 civilians. Among those kidnapped last week were three children.

In other news, Israel’s cabinet has handed its response on Tuesday to a proposed prisoner exchange deal with Hamas to a German mediator, following lengthy debate between ministers.

No details of the Israeli response, which could see hundreds of Palestinian prisoners swapped for an Israeli soldier held in the Gaza Strip, were immediately available on Tuesday. A Hamas official said today that the German mediator brokering the deal will arrive in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday with the Israeli response.

Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier at the centre of the exchange, was captured in a cross-border raid by Palestinian fighters in June 2006 and has been held by Hamas ever since. Under the terms called for by Hamas, a deal would see Shalit released in exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

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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