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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center www.imemc.org for Tuesday, June 2nd, 2010.
Israel begins deporting the Freedom Flotilla detainees and the Palestinians are approaching each other for reconciliation, these stories and more are coming up, stay tuned.
The News Cast
Israeli authorities started deporting the detained passengers of the six boats of the Freedom Flotilla back to their home countries, Israeli sources reported. A press release by the Free Gaza movement, the main organizer of the flotilla, stated that not everyone is released.
Four Palestinian-Israelis, who were on the boats, were remanded until June 8. The four were identified as, Lubna Masarwa, the board director of the Free Gaza Movement, Sheik Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Mohammed Zeidan, Director of International Advocacy Programme for the Arab Association for Human Rights and Hamed Abu Dabis.
The press release said that the four, who beare Israeli passports, are “facing multiple serious criminal offences for their participation in a peaceful voyage to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza.”
In the meantime, the seventh boat named, Rachel Corrie, which was originally part of the Freedom Flotilla is still on its way to its original destination, the Gaza Strip, despite of threats to intercept it. Those on board insist that they are on a peaceful mission.
The boat is named after Rachel Corrie an American activist, member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who was killed in March of 2003 by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.
The organizers of the Freedom Flotilla said they are preparing for a second flotilla which is expected to set sail in the coming few weeks.
In related news, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described the Israeli attack on the freedom flotilla as terrorism. Abbas comments came in the opening ceremony of the second International Investment Conference in Bethlehem.
Abbas also said that all those who were on the boats and those who contributed to the organizing of the Flotilla will be granted Palestinian honorary citizenship, in appreciation of their efforts.
He also said that this moment is a golden opportunity to realize the national unity among Palestinian factions and end the internal unrest. Hamas on its part welcomed this call, however, said that Abbas must prove his intentions by releasing the political prisoners in the jails of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
In Rafah, the Palestinian border authorities said that couple of hundreds of passengers managed to go through the Rafah terminal crossing after Egypt announced opening the terminal for three days after the Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla, a step seen by Hamas as insufficient.
Thank you for joining from occupied Bethlehem, you have been listening to Palestine Today, from the international Middle East Media Center. For constant updated, please visit our website at www.imemc.org. This report has been brought to you by George Rishmawi.