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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for Thursday, December 30th 2010.

Today, the Tel Aviv District Court convicted the former Israeli President, Moshe Katsav of two counts of sexual assault and rape. The date for his sentence has not being set yet. He could be sentenced up to sixteen years, while the minimum is four. He was also found guilty of obstructing justice, and was acquitted from one charge of harassing a witness.

The verdict came after four years of investigations and legal procedures. The charges against him refer to the period when he served as the Israeli Minister of Tourism and as the President of Israel.

In other news, Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Thursday at dawn, the elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Khalil Raba’ey, from his home in Yatta town, south of Hebron. He was released from an Israeli detention facility thirteen months ago, after being imprisoned for forty months.

This news came shortly after two journalists working for Reuters and Ball Media were attacked in Yatta by Israeli settlers. The journalists were taking pictures, when the settlers tried to pierce the tires of their car.

Also, according to the latest reported released the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Detainees’ Affairs, 1,100 Palestinian children have been arrested in 2010 by Israeli police, most of them in East Jerusalem and Hebron. The report also denounced other practices that the Palestinian children suffer from the Israeli army, especially, its use as human shields.

On Wednesday night, Israeli Military broke into the Ofer Israeli detention center and attacked Palestinian detainees. Eight Palestinian detainees suffered fractures and concussions after the attack and dozens suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation. In the Ofer prison are held more than 12000 Palestinians.

With regard to the second anniversary of the Israel’s offensive of the Gaza Strip, Ma’an News reported that two youth groups in Gaza City are painting murals in the destroyed government compound, as symbol of freedom.

In separate reports, U.S. President, Barack Obama, issued an order appointing a temporary ambassador in Damascus, after near six years of a total diplomatic boycott. From now on, Robert Steven Ford will be serving in Damascus. The new order also appoints ambassadors in Turkey and Azerbaijan.

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.