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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Monday, September 6th, 2010
PA security detain more Hamas activists and Israeli officials declare no settlement freeze in the West Bank, these stories and more, are coming up, stay tuned.
Palestinian Authority security services have detained 35 more Hamas affiliates in the aftermath of Tuesday’s attack on Israeli settlers, the movement said Monday.
According to the Ma’an News agency, the arrests bring the number of Hamas members detained by the PA during the past week up to 750.
The arrests came after Hamas claimed responsibility for the two attacks against Israeli settlers on Tuesday and Thursday in Hebron and Ramallah, during which four Israeli settlers were killed and two wounded.
In the mean time, the Israeli Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, stated that Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied West Bank will likely continue after Israel’s “temporary freeze” on such activities ends by the end of September.
Israel insists that it has “the right” to construct and expand Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem.
Despite of Israel’s declaration of the settlement freeze, Israeli human rights organizations reported more than 400 violations of the freeze in the West Bank alone. The freeze, on the other hand, did not include settlements in East Jerusalem.
Barak’s statements come shortly after the direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis were launched in Washington last week. The settlements’ issue is among the main ones that obstruct the chances to advance peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Both parties, agreed to meet bi-weekly and Egypt stated that it is willing to host the talks.
On Sunday, two Palestinian men were reportedly killed in an Israeli airstrike on the southern part of the Gaza Strip .The assault was focused on the smuggling tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, and injured three others.
The smuggling tunnels are a vital life line for the area due to the military siege of the Strip, imposed by the state of Israel since June 2007. The siege restricts products allowed into Gaza, including healthy food and concrete needed to rebuild Gaza’s damaged infrastructure following Operation Cast Lead.
Staying n the Gaza issue, the Free Gaza Movement reported that its supporters in the United States have decided to organize sending an aide plane to the Gaza Strip in order to deliver humanitarian supplies and challenge Israel’s illegal siege on the coastal region.
The Free Gaza Movement in cooperation with some other Human Rights organizations, sent a number of boats to the Gaza Strip, the latest was in May 31st which was attacked by the Israeli navy who killed 9 activists and wounded dozens others.
That concludes today’s daily report from the Occupied Territories of Palestine. For more news and daily updates, check out our website www.imemc.org. This report has been brought to you by George Rishmawi and Husam Qassis.