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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday, January 20th, 2010.
One fighter killed in the Gaza Strip and families in Jerusalem receive demolition orders. These stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
The News Cast
Palestinian medical sources reported Wednesday that a fighter of Al-Qassam Brigade, the armed wing of Hamas, died of wounds sustained last week in northern Gaza. The fighter was identified as Ghassan Salim Al Tarabeen, 21, from Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
He was wounded in an explosion that took place on January 12, and was hospitalized at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. On January 12, the Brigades stated that one of its fighters was killed and three others were wounded in a “mission” in Beit Hanoun.
The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem handed out demolition orders, on Wednesday, to five Palestinian families living in Al-Bustan neighborhood. The orders said that all five families have constructed the homes they live in illegally because they did not obtain the permission of the municipality.
Israel has occupied the city of Jerusalem in 1967. Since then it has rarely given its Palestinian residents permission to built homes or renovate old ones. In the meantime, the government continues to build Israeli settlements in and around the city, an act illegal under international law.
Al-Bustan is a Palestinian neighborhood of some 88 homes, located near Jerusalem’s old city. All those homes are deemed illegal by the Israeli authorities. An Israeli settlers group claim that the land that the Al-Bustan neighborhood is built on used to be owned by Jews prior to the creation of Israel.
Al-Bustan neighborhood was created by Palestinian families who became refugees during the war of 1948. The Jordanian government, that controlled Jerusalem at the time, gave them the land to live on.
Elsewhere two Palestinian civilians were kidnapped on Wednesday by Israeli troops during an invasion targeting the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Local sources said that troops stormed parts of the city and searched homes before they took the two men away.
The army said that the two were taken to military a detention camp for questioning. The military accused the two men of being on what the army calls its ‘Wanted list.’ Since Monday Israeli troops have kidnapped 27 Palestinian civilians during pre-dawn invasions targeting West Bank communities under the same claims.
In other news, The Ministry of Interiors has made the decision to stop issuing work permits for internationals that work for non-governmental organizations in the West Bank, leaving many workers in the position where their only option to remain with their organizations is to take a tourist visa, and continue to work illegally.
The tourist visa is valid for a maximum of 3 months, and often issued for much less time, meaning that any international working for an NGO would have to leave, and then re-enter Israel under the auspices of tourism, putting them at risk of denial of entry, or deportation if they manage to pass through immigration services and continue their work.
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 Ruben O’Shea.