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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday, December 8th 2010.
The U.S. government said on Tuesday that it is giving up his efforts to push the Israeli government to comply with to comply with international law prohibiting settlement construction. The announcement comes after several months of failed negotiations with Israel. A representative of the U.S. State Department informed that the U.S. will continue negotiating however without pressuring Israel to halt its settlement building activity.
To that regard, leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council stated today that they support the stance taken by the Palestinian Authority of refusing to hold talks with Israel until it stops its illegal settlement construction work in the Occupied Territories, including in occupied East Jerusalem. The Arab Gulf leaders called upon the International Community to oblige Israel to stop all of its settlement activities.
In addition, a Press TV report revealed that spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry Valero declared recognition of a free and independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, said. France becomes now the first European country to support the formation of a Palestinian state. The declaration comes at a time when Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have announced their respective recognitions over the past week.
In other news, the hearing on the case of Abdullah Abu Rahme began with the participation of several of his supporters, including European politicians, members of the European Union and the British consul general. Abu Rahme has completed a one year sentence inn sentence with the charge of ‘incitement’ due to his role of organizing non-violent weekly demonstrations against the Wall in Bil’in. Israeli authorities said they intend to extend the sentence indefinitely for unspecified ‘security concerns’ although they failed in producing any evidence against him. Abu Rahme’s lawyer argued that the arrest and imprisonment of Abu Rahme is politically motivated.
In separate reports, Israeli military razed the village of Tana, near the city of Hebron, early this morning, and demolished hothouses and a school forcing dozens of families in tents to evacuate.
A Red Cross building was also severely damaged. Israeli authorities motivated the bulldozing activity by saying that the structures had been built without permits.
In the meantime, local sources said Israeli warplanes launched two airstrikes in the overnight near Khan Younis, in the south of Gaza, leaving a young Palestinian wounded. The two attacks targeted first a poultry farm and later a tunnel under Gaza’s border with Egypt, near Rafah, which was destroyed. The Israeli army explained the airstrikes came in retaliation to the firing of rockets from the al-Quds Brigades in central Gaza.
Also, a few hours after the two air force attacks, an Israeli tank shelling left three Palestinian men injured near the Karni crossing, in the eastern part of Gaza City. The men were not identified.
Also today, the Jerusalem District Court decided to deport the detained legislator Mohammad Abu Teir to the West Bank with immediate effect. Resident of Jerusalem and affiliated with the Hamas movement, Abu Tier was arrested by the Israeli army over five months ago under the pretext of “illegally living in Jerusalem” and of disloyalty to Israel.
Additionally, Ma’an News reported that Israeli forces detained a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in a raid in Beit Furik, east of Nablus. The man, known as Hakim Hanani, was arrested after the military invaded and searched his house at 2 a.m.
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.