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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for Tuesday, November 9th 2010.

On Tuesday, during a trip to Indonesia, US President Barack Obama criticized Israel for its decision to build 1,300 more settler units in east Jerusalem and declared that this decision is not helpful for the Middle East peace process.

The statement was in relation to Israel’s approval to build 800 new housing units in the settlement of Ariel. The decision comes during Netanyahu’s visit to the U.S this week, to talk with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. The announcement follows Monday’s disclosure of construction plans for 1,300 illegal houses in East Jerusalem.

Activist also disrupted Netanyahu’s speech in New Orleans during the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations in North America. Activists challenged the occupation and the illegal Israeli policies in the Occupied Territories.

In addition, Hamas political leader, Usama Hamdan, stated that the following Damascus meeting between the Palestinian factions will not resolve all issues regarding internal reconciliation and the security file, but will set foundations for solutions appeasing the Palestinian people.

Confrontations broke out also on Tuesday morning between Israeli forces and hundreds of Palestinian school children in al-Isawiya neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Tensions allegedly erupted after the Israeli military erected road-blocks at the eastern entrance of the neighborhood, obstructing access to school classrooms. The residents of Silwan also witnessed undercover police officers detaining five young men and beating four others, during a raid on grocery store.

Also it was reported by the Agency France Presse that one in four Israelis lives in poverty and that those affected by adverse economic conditions are mostly Arabs.

Meanwhile, Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Tuesday that few days ago officers of Shin Bet, Israeli Security Agency, met with senior figures of Hamas and Islamic Jihad near Jenin. While Palestinian Authority officials said that the reported meeting embarrasses Fatah, Hamas claimed that it was not a meeting but a series of home raids and interrogations. Shin Bet refused to comment on the reports.

That sums up our news for today, thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem, you have been listening to Palestine Today, from International Middle East Media Center. For more updates, please visit our website at This report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and Alessandra Bajec