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Welcome to Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, for Tuesday, June 22 2010.

Israel plans a war with Hezbollah, and Israeli businessmen in negotiations with Greek Orthodox Church over renewing the government’s leases, these stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

French sources, according to Lebanese newspaper al-Mustaqbal, have knowledge of meetings between Israeli officials and American experts on a possible war with Hezbollah.

The Israeli officials were aware that the war would not bring the destruction of Hezbollah but felt that it was the right strategy to keep Israel safe and reassure its position in the region.

It would seem that Israel thinks the show of force would send the message they desired to Iran. Israel maintains that Iran is a nuclear and existential threat. The state likewise views Hezbollah as a ‘ticking time bomb of Iran,’ with the steady increase of its political and military might within Lebanon.

The delegates admitted as well that Hezbollah had not yet acquired Skud missiles and that they did not believe that Syria or Iran would take substantial action on Hezbollah’s part in the event of another war. Most of the planning is said to be completed for the operation.

In Jerusalem, talks are being held between Israeli businessmen and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. The Patriarchate is the owner of much of the land within the city and leases the government of Israel the land upon which the Knesset, Chief Rabbinate and other official buildings are built upon.

The land was originally leased in 1951 for a period of 99 years. The businessmen want to ensure that, ‘the lands remain in Jewish hands.’ The deal is very sensitive as the Church is under no obligation to renew the leases.

Greek Orthodox Christians in Palestine have boycotted the Patriarchate for abandoning its responsibilities to its followers in the occupied territories.

From New York comes news that the U.N. Human Rights Council approved an independent investigation into the attacks on the Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara

The officials investigating the incident will be looking into potential violations of international law and the attacks themselves. Experts in international law and human rights law were some of those named to the committee responsible for the investigation.

This is in contrast with the Israeli’s internal investigation which includes no experts on international law.

Israel will be asked to contribute to the investigation. If it does not, its lack of cooperation will be noted in the final report due in September.

Gaza City saw a candlelight vigil Monday night in the port. Women from the community gathered in support of the Lebanese ships planning to sail to Gaza and to ending the siege on the Gaza strip.

The protestors waved Palestinian and Lebanese flags while also protesting Israel’s planned use of force against the ships. They have been reported to only be carrying humanitarian supplies and women.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov phoned his Israeli counterpart on Monday expressing the Russian government’s position favoring an end to the siege in Gaza.

He pointed out to the Israeli Foreign Minister that peace, security and stability with in the region requires Israel’s implementation of international law.

Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem, you have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Center, for constant update, please visit our website at this report has been brought to you by Brian Ennis