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Welcome to Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, for Monday, July 05, 2010.

Settlements prepare to build as the freeze nears an end and Fatah activists face persecution by Hamas in Gaza these stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

The settlers are gearing up for an end to the freeze on new construction in the settlements.

As, September 27th, the end date for the freeze draws closer with every day, the settlers are preparing their construction plans for 1200 new units. These are to be built throughout a number of the colonies, with 800 of those going to the northern West Bank.

Many of the regional councils have finalized their plans and are seeking approval from the Israeli Housing Ministry.

Many expect the settlement construction freeze to be extended due to pressure from the Barack Obama’s administration, in return for bringing the Palestinian leadership into direct talks with the current Israeli government.

The settlement issue is widely regarded as one of the biggest impediments to a peace in the region.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights based out of Gaza, is reporting serious concerns over the treatment of Fatah activists by Hamas’s internal security force, the Internal Security Service.

The Center has received countless complaints from dozens of Fatah activists detailing how they are repeatedly summoned by the Internal Security Service and then held in degrading conditions.

The ISS, during the interrogations, informed the individuals that Fatah was banned in the Gaza strip, and the activists stated that they were held in iron containers under very hot conditions or in poorly ventilated cells. Others reported being held in bad smelling bathrooms for several hours.

After their interrogations they would be given another summons order for either the next day or a couple of days after. Recently, a number of activists have stated that their passports have been confiscated by the ISS at the latest interrogations.

The Center has called for the release of political prisoners and the return of their passports.

Palestinian legislator Mohammad Abu Teir has had his time in Israeli custody extended until July 12. He and three other men are illegally being deported from their ancestral home of Jerusalem.

The extended remand has been given so that legal matters can be sorted through by the defense counsel of Abu Teir.

Mamoun al-Abbasy, coordinator of the National Committee Against Deportation, told the Maan News Agency that the court ruling to postpone the hearing and the final ruling prove that the decision to expel the legislator was taken by the Israeli government without any legal grounds.

Elsewhere, Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak will be meeting Monday to discuss extending Palestinian security control over more areas in the West Bank. This comes after extensive training by European and U.S. authorities of Palestinian security forces and police.

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