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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Monday, December 20th 2010.

Today, local sources in Gaza reported that a Palestinian worker, in his thirties, was shot and wounded in his left foot. He was collecting, used for construction purpose, close to the border in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza. His injuries were described as moderate.

This news comes a day after the Israeli soldiers shot a Palestinian shepherd, age 19; and two days after a Palestinian child was killed when Israeli Navy chased a fishing boat close to the Rafah shore.

According to medical sources in Gaza, 103 workers have been shot and wounded by the army since March 2010.

In addition, according to the website ‘Military Analysis’, a new technology known as ‘Windbreaker’ will be deployed in tanks stationed along the Israel-Gaza border. The new system detects the heat of incoming shells, destroying them before they get near the tank. It carries a price tag of around $200,000.
In other news, The Human Rights Watch released a report denouncing that the Israeli policies in the West Bank harshly discriminate Palestinian residents, depriving them of basic necessities, while provide lavish amenities for Jewish settlements.

On Sunday, The Bethlehem Arab Rehabilitation Hospital reported that a group of Israeli soldiers surrounded the hospital with armored vehicles and jeeps and then invaded the Emergency Room, pointing guns at patients. They also threatened to confiscate a computer containing medical records, but ended up leaving the hospital empty handed.

With regard to the failed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Israeli sources reported that two senior American officials arrived in Tel Aviv on Sunday, in order to hold talks with Israeli officials in Tel Aviv, and Palestinian officials in Ramallah, in an attempt to drive the process.

In separate reports, Egyptian Security sources reported that an explosives storage was located in Sheikh Zweid area, in the Sinai Desert, just 10 kilometers away from the border with Gaza.

In addition, the Higher Committee for Defending the Right of Return of the Palestinian Refugees, slammed a Tel Aviv conference that calls for considering Jordan as the alternative homeland of the Palestinian people. The conference, called “Jordan is Palestine” was planned by Member of Knesset of the extremist National Union Party, Aryeh Eldad, and is meant to “provide an alternative to the two-state solution” by declaring Jordan as the future Palestinian state.

On Saturday, the Israeli army carried out and air strike that killed five Palestinians, believed to be members of the Al Quds Brigades of the Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees. The army said that the Air Force targeted fighters preparing to launch rockets into adjacent Israeli areas. There were identified as Khalil At-Taweel, Ahmad Al Assar, Ashraf Abu Sabt and Abdullah Al Shareehy, and Ahmas Al Za’lan. All of them were from Al Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

With regard to the Palestinian internal unity, the Head of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Aziz Dweik of the Hamas movement, called on the Palestinian Authority to release all political prisoners in The West Bank, in order to create a positive atmosphere for reconciliation talks.

In other news, The Lebanese Foreign Ministry filed an official complaint to the United Nations Security Council, against Israel, for implanting spy devices on two mountains in Lebanon. The Lebanese Government considered the issue as an Israeli violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty and the sovereignty of its security devices.

On Friday, the Asia solidarity convoy heading to the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian supplies arrived in Turkey, after it left Iran. Thousands greeted the activists and chanted in support of Palestine.

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 Ane Irazabal.

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