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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Monday October 4, 2010
Settlers burn a mosque and Bethlehem and the Israeli police kill a Palestinian worker in East Jerusalem, these stories and more coming up, stay tuned.
A group of fundamentalist Israeli settlers broke into a mosque, on Sunday at night, in Beit Fajjar, near Bethlehem, and set it ablaze.
The settlers burnt twelve copies of the Muslims Holy Quran which in turn burnt the mosque’s carpets and grounds.
Local residents noticed the assailants and clashed with them for few minutes before the Israeli army arrived at the scene and evacuated the setters; no arrests were reported. According to local sources, the mosque was badly burnt and the settlers also wrote graffiti on its inner walls.
Some of the villagers told media that the Israeli soldiers were close and apparently observing the actions of the settlers.
The incident is the latest in a series of attacks carried out by the settlers against mosques in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli Minister of Defence Ehud Barak described the mosque arsonists as terrorists.
‘Whoever committed this act is a terrorist in every regard, intent on harming any chance for peace and dialogue with the Palestinians,’ Barak said.
In the meantime, a Palestinian worker was shot and killed, on Monday at dawn, by an Israeli policeman, who reportedly shot him at point blank range in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli sources reported, that the policeman was placed under house arrest for five days.
The deceased, Iz Ed-Deen al-Kawazba, 36, was trying to cross through a barbed wired fence in al-Z’ayyim area north east of Jerusalem, in order to seek work in Jerusalem, to secure food for his family. Kawazba left behind a wife and five children.
Israeli police said the policeman opened fire at Al-Kawazba after he attempted to snatch the weapon of the policeman.
The workers who were with al-Kawazba denied police reports and said that they saw the Israeli policeman pointing his gun at the victim at point blank and then fired several round and killed him on the spot.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that he agrees to extending settlement construction freeze for two more months, but in return he wants guarantees that he will not be asked for a further extension.
He also said that Israel wants assurances that it will be able to resume constructions that had already begun.
The Israeli Prime Minister also demanded guarantees from Washington that Israeli troops will remain deployed in the Jordan valley under any final peace deal with the Palestinians.
Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, told members of his Yisrael Beiteinu Party, that U.S. President, Barack Obama, “is trying to force an agreement on Israel”.
He said Obama “wants to force a two-state solution”, and that Israel must not accept Obama’s proposal for a two-month settlement freeze.
That sums up our news for today, thank you for joining us form occupied Bethlehem, you have been listening to Palestine Today, from the International Middle East Media Center. For more updates, please visit our website at www.imemc.org. This report has been brought to you by, Hussam Qassis, and George Rishmawi.