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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for Thursday, December 16th 2010.

In different raids during Wednesday night, Israeli forces arrested nine Palestinians from Hebron region and transported them to an unknown location. The detentions occurred in the town of Adh-Dhahiriya, where troops arrested Nidal al-Qayaseh, 21 years old, and Mustapha Al-Qayaseh, 19, as well as in the northern town of Dura, arresting brothers Shams and Nour al-Awawdeh, Muhammad Amro, Shadi al-Rujoub, Ammar Rab’i and Yousef al-Awawdeh, who according to PNN, works for the Bethlehem Magistrate Court.

Israeli army also stationed near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and detained a 31-year-old Ramya Abu Samira, wife of Amjad Abu Samira, who is serving a life sentence in Israeli military prison.

In addition, a local shepherd from Nablus Ibrahim Darwish reported being attacked by Israeli settlers, who also killed one of his sheep.

In other news, Israel Radio reported that the Jerusalem Municipality gave approval, on Thursday, the construction of 24 additional Jewish houses, near the Ultra-Orthodox center Beit Orot in the occupied East Jerusalem. The information comes after the U.S. admitted it had failed in persuading Israel to freeze its settlement activities in the occupied territories.

With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Egypt’s President, Hosni Mubarak, held separate talks in Cairo on Wednesday, with the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and the U.S Middle East Envoy, George Mitchell to discus the means to resolve the current deadlock in peace talks. Mitchell stated Israel and the Palestinian Authority have asked the U.S. to continue its mediation efforts.

Also, Palestinian negotiator sent on Thursday a request to the consuls general of France, Britain, Sweden and Denmark as well as the European Union envoy to the peace process, asking to recognize a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders. A previous appeal was sent to the European Union earlier this week.
Meanwhile, the United States House of Representatives approved a resolution opposing a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, and agreed to veto any resolution by the United Nations Security Council with regard to supporting this issue.

In separate reports, Israeli sources said on Wednesday that Israeli Member of Knesset of the Likud Party, Dani Dannon, sent a sarcastic letter to Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, telling him that Israeli soldiers should have killed all of the passengers of the Marmara Ship that was heading to Gaza to deliver humanitarian supplies. In his letter, Dannon said that he is sorry the soldiers “had lots of discipline and only killed nine activists,’ who he considers to be terrorists.

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 Ane Irazabal.