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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Thursday, August 19th, 2010.
A UN Report condemns Israeli restrictions in Gaza, while an Israeli soldier who posted controversial photos defends her actions. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.
Israeli forces erected a new checkpoint Wedensday morning at the entrance to the town of Awarta, south of Nablus in the northern West Bank.
The checkpoint was temporary, and remained in place throughout the day. The Israeli military gave no reason for the checkpoint, which delayed Palestinian vehicles for hours, causing a number of workers to miss their work.
In Jerusalem, the family of a 10-year old girl shot and killed by Israeli soldiers in 2007 have vowed to bring the soldiers responsible to trial, after an Israeli court ruled Monday that the shooting was unlawful.
Abir Aramin was killed in her neighborhood in East Jerusalem by Israeli troops invading the area. Initially, the Israeli military claimed that Aramin had been hit in the head by a rock thrown by Palestinian youth, and immediately closed the case.
But the girl’s parents worked for years to expose the truth, and were able to prove to a skeptical Israeli court that the evidence showed Aramin was killed by the soldiers.
A United nations report released today found that Israeli forces in Gaza have severely restricted access to farmland and fishing zones along the Gaza Coast. The report found that these restrictions have steadily increased over the last ten years, beginning long before the siege imposed in 2007.
Over 150,000 Palestinians have been directly affected by these restrictions, which prevent them from maintaining their basic livelihood.
In addition, the report found that Israeli troops routinely fire live rounds at anyone who enters the restricted zones. 22 people have been killed and 146 have been wounded in such incidents since the end of Operation Cast Lead in January 2009.
And in the latest chapter in the controversy surrounding photos published by an Israeli soldier on Facebook, the soldier who published the photos wrote today on her Facebook page quote ‘I would gladly kill Arabs – even slaughter them.’
Eden Abergil has been criticized for posting photos showing her posing in front of blindfolded Palestinian prisoners and commenting that this was quote ‘the best time of her life’.
Palestinian human rights groups have condemned the photos as indicative of the type of treatment that Palestinians receive on a daily basis at the hands of teen-aged Israeli soldiers.
In response to the public criticism of her actions, Abergil said she quote “will not led Arab-lovers ruin her perfect life.”
And finally, a man whose arrest was filmed and spread on Youtube has been sentenced by an Israeli court to three months and a fine.
The video shows Fadil Al-Jabari’s four-year old son tugging on his father’s shirt and begging the soldiers not to take his daddy away. The soldiers push the boy away and leave him on the side of the road alone as they take his father away in a military jeep.
Al-Jabari was charged with resisting arrest and striking an officer. Both of these charges are easily disproven by the video of the incident, but the video evidence was not allowed to be shown in court.
Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem, you have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Media Center. For constant updates, please visit our website at www.imemc.org. This report has been brought to you by Jenka Soderberg and Husam Qassis.