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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, for Tuesday, October 12, 2010.

Settlement construction continues in the West Bank; New Israeli citizenship law requiring non-Jews to pledge allegiance to Israel troubles non-Jews: these stories and more are coming up. Stay tuned
Today, a Palestinian official in charge of monitoring said that settlement construction work continues in the northern West Bank. In the northern Jordan Valley construction continues at Maskiot Settlement. South of Nablus, Israeli bulldozers began to clear Palestinian lands adjacent to the settlement of Eli.

The Israeli military invaded and made three arrests in the West Bank in a village near Ramallah, in a refugee camp in Ramallah, and in the town of Jayous in the northwest.

In villages south of Hebron, Israeli soldiers arrested or attacked several citizens on Wednesday morning. Two youths were kidnapped near Tuwani. They were beaten and taken to hospital for treatment of cuts and bruises. An adult from Yatta was arrested and his vehicle seized, while a resident of Al Thahiriya was detained without charges.

A woman student at Hebron University, Sajeda Al-Awawda, who was detained on Tuesday, was released today.

Breaking the Silence, an Israeli human rights group best known for publishing testimonials by current and former Israeli soldiers about military abuses, has been nominated by two European Green parties for the European Union’s Andrei Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The annual award is given out to groups or individuals that demonstrate a commitment to human rights.

Right-wing Zionist Gerald Steinberg has launched a campaign to stop the EU from awarding the prize to Breaking the Silence.

On Monday, Syrian President Bashar Al- Asad strongly denounced the new Israeli citizenship law that requires all non-Jews to pledge allegiance to Israel as a “Jewish democratic state.” Al- Asad said the legislation is racist and points out that Israel is not interested in peace.

Israel’s Arab majority sees the law as an attempt to block the U.S. Peace Process and to stop US efforts to compel Israel to halt settlement activities in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories.

On Tuesday, Israeli military invaded several homes and arrested three men in the towns of Beit Reema, near Ramallah, Jayus near Qalqila and from the Jalazone refugee camp.

Also on Tuesday Israeli troops launched large-scale raids of homes in the town of Silwan near the Al Aqsa Mosque and broke into houses.

Children resisted by hurling objects and placing obstacles in their way. Soldiers used sound bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas in retaliation, injuring a ten year old boy.

Nearby in Beir Ayoub, undercover soldiers disguised as Palestinians arrested four children and took them to a detention and interrogation center in West Jerusalem.

At dawn, Israeli soldiers broke into the house of Mofeed Mansour, terrorized and kidnapped his eight year old child. A Committee member for Defending Silwan said the attack violates both Israeli and international law regarding the rights of children and proves the Israeli police reached a dangerous level of immorality and disregard for the human rights of children.’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered on Monday, a new temporary freeze of settlement activities in the West Bank in exchange for an official Palestinian recognition of Israel as the State of the Jewish People.

Netanyahu said he wants this recognition before he asks his government to reinstate the temporary freeze on settlement activities in the West Bank. He said the informal message is now being made in public, and that it will convince Israelis that Palestinians really want to live in peace with Israelis.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat said Netanyahu’s demands have nothing to do with Israeli commitments to peace. Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority reject Israeli demands and attempts to connect Israel’s commitments and violations of International Law. He said Netanyahu has to choose between peace and the ongoing illegal construction of settlements. By recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, Palestinian refugees surrender their Right of Return and endanger the democratic rights of the non-Jewish population in Israel.

This concludes our news for today. Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today, from the International Middle East Media Center. For more updates, please visit our Website at This report has been brought to you by Hussam Qassis and Doris Norrito.