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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday, October 19th, 2010.
The Palestinian Authority is calling for the evacuation of all settlements from the West Bank, while Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is trivializing the on-going settlement expansion and refusing to evacuate six settlement outposts identified as illegal in 2004 These stories and more are coming up. Stay tuned.
The Palestinian Authority has drafted a resolution to put before the United Nations Security Council calling for the evacuation of all Israeli settlements from the West Bank. The draft includes key Palestinian demands for a peace agreement: creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capitol, return of Palestinian refugees, and release of all political prisoners. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu responded by accusing the Palestinian Authority of trying to thwart the current negotiations.
Meanwhile Israel’s prime minister says that the amount of on-going settlement expansion is ‘trivial’ and not an obstruction to negotiations. Addressing a Likud Party meeting on Monday, Netanyahu said, ‘If the Palestinians want to find problems, then we won’t proceed.’
In related news, Netanyahu is resisting complying with a 2004 order to remove 6 settlement outposts, and the Israeli High Court is also failing to make a final decision on the status of these outposts.
On Tuesday, settler violence continued as settlers from Beitar Illit settlement near Bethlehem set fire to several trees belonging to residents of the agricultural village of Husan.
In another village near Bethlehem a settler ran over Ra’fat Sliman from the town of Tekoa’ as he was on his way home from school and then fled the scene. The boy’s injuries were later reported as mild.
Also on Tuesday, the Israeli military abducted a man from the town of Beit Umar and errected military blockades in towns south of Hebron.
On the international stage, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated he will not participate in the Climate Conference in Athens if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends.
Relations between Turkey and Israel deteriorated after the deadly attack by Israel on the Mavi Marmara ship which carried humanitarian supplies for Gaza. Nine Turks were killed and dozens of activists were wounded.
That’s some of our news for today. Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today, a program of the International Middle East Media Center. For more updates and details of these stories, please visit our website at www.imemc.org. This report was brought to you by Husam Qassis and Cheryl Hogan.