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Welcome to Palestine today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday, November 23rd 2010
On Tuesday, the Israeli Parliament approved the Referendum Bill, with a majority of 65 votes in favor and 33 opposing. The new bill requires a public majority referendum vote and the votes of 60 members of Knesset (MK’s) in order to approve any withdrawal from occupied Jerusalem and the occupied Golan Heights.
In addition, Jewish settlers have acquired houses in the neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, in East Jerusalem, forcing twenty eight Palestinian residents out with help from the Israeli police force. In reaction to today’s eviction, a protest was held by Israeli activists from the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement. Two activists were attacked by a settler resulting into his arrest, eye witnesses said.
Also in Jerusalem, a group of archaeologist, who were excavating in the old city to leave space for the construction of a modern Mikbe (Jewish ritual bath), found a Roman bath house dating back at least 1,800 years.
In other news, Israeli military raided the village of Bi’lin at 2:30am, and detained a 16 year old boy. The child is believed to be the son of Adeeb Abu Rahme, an activist from the village who was detained on July 10, 2009, at one of the weekly protests against the wall and the settlements.
Also today, Defence for Children International –Palestine section obtained a new affidavit from a 13-year-old boy, who reports being used as a human shield in August, 2010. The boy was beaten and forced at gunpoint to search and open doors in a house where the army suspected a wanted person might be hiding. This report comes one day after an Israeli military court imposed a suspended sentence on two Givati Brigade soldiers for using a nine-year-old boy as a human shield in Gaza.
With regard to this fact, a statement by the UNICEF, issued on the 21st anniversary of the Geneva Convention to protect children’s rights, accused Israel of failing to uphold international law and live up to its obligation to protect children, especially in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.
In a separate report, Israeli forces detonated three bags carrying live grenades, at the Jubarah checkpoint, south of Tulkarem, Ma’an News said. The weapons were identified after checking three young men from Nablus. The men, whose identity has not been revealed, were reportedly detained at the military crossing. According to Palestinian security sources, it was unclear what Israeli forces suspected was in the bags.
Reporters Without Borders released a call for press freedom for Palestinian journalists in the Occupied Territories, AFP claimed. The statement comes amidst a wave of harassment suffered by journalists from both Hamas and Fatah.
Besides, European Union Foreign Policy Chief, Catherine Ashton, lashed out at Israel for failing to ease the blockade on the Gaza Strip. She also claimed that Israel should allow imports and exports, adding that Gaza’s economy needs to be allowed to recover, and the people must be allowed to invest in their future.
The Middle East Monitor reported that the Internal Revenue Service received a complaint demanding revocation of tax exemption for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
The two core charges, made by the Center for Policy and Law Enforcement, are: false charitable purpose and fraudulent application for tax exempt status.
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 www.imemc.org. This report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and Alessandra Bajec.