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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday, January 4rd 2011.

Today, Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian home in Beit Hanina, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. Ma’an News reported that at dawn, Israeli policemen and workers of the Jerusalem Municipality demolished the house of the resident Nayef Oweida. Damage was reported to the furniture to nearby structures.

With regard to the death of the Palestinian protestor Jawaher Abu Rahma on Saturday, the Israeli army issued a report stating that there are no clear evidences that she died from inhaling tear gas fired by the troops during the Friday weekly protest against the Annexation Wall in Bil’in. The report was strongly criticized by Bil’in residents, as well as Israeli and international activists, who claimed that the army is trying to invent all kinds of arguments to avoid any responsibility for Jawaher Abu Rahma’s death.

In separate reports, Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Tuesday at dawn, eight Palestinians, including a security officer in Madame village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. All of the kidnapped residents were moved to Huwwara military camp. One of them was released later on; the rest remained in custody.
In related news, the army raided, on Monday evening, a dormitory of the Arab American University in Jenin, officially in search of wanted Palestinians. A security guard was arrested as he was trying to prevent the soldiers from accessing the women’s area. The army also installed checkpoints and raided nearby areas.

In other news, the Jewish Rabbi Avraham Yosef from Holon city issued an order banning Jewish women from driving unless absolutely necessary. The Rabbi argued that driving for women does not reflect modesty or chastity, especially in cities where the largest population is made up by religious Jews.

The Palestine Liberation organization issued a report this week documenting Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians during 2010. According to the report, 107 Palestinians were killed by Israel and 145 homes were demolished in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Additionally, 400 Palestinians were arrested during invasions of Palestinian communities.

On Monday, Mohammed Khatib, a member of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, was acquitted of all charges for lack of sufficient evidence. Khatib was exonerated of charges of incitement, performing a service for an unlawful association and obstruction of a soldier.

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.