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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday, January 5th 2011.
Today, Egyptian security personnel shot and wounded a Sudanese migrant who was attempting to enter Israel, apparently seeking work. Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported in November of last year, the number of attempts to enter Israel per week reached 700; most of them came from countries in Africa. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated that this issue a threat to “Israel’s Jewish character”.
In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Air Force attacked two areas overnight under the pretext of responding to a Qassam homemade shell that was allegedly fired from Gaza into an open area in Ashkelon (Asqalan); no injuries were reported.
In other news, Catherine Ashton, the Foreign Policy Chief of the European Union plans to meet with both Israeli and Palestinian officials this week, urging .
In addition, Israeli activists who are involved in protests against the Israeli annexation wall had their homes searched and raided by Israeli police. Police confiscated computers, pictures, clothing, and other items. This comes in the midst of a growing attack on Israeli activists by Israel.
Also in Israel, the deputy Israeli Attorney-General has asked the police to investigate two Facebook groups ‘Death to Arabs’ and ‘Protest in Um Al Fahm against the Islamic Movement’ for inciting racism against Arabs. ‘Death to all Arabs,’ has 170 members, and explicitly calls toacts of violence to be carried out against Arabs.
In addition, the Knesset will vote on Wednesday on a proposal initiated by Yisrael Beiteinu to establish a committee of inquiry into groups that are critical of human rights violations committed by the Israeli military. Sixteen human rights groups signed an open letter protesting the initiative.
On Tuesday morning, Israeli navy detained an unspecified number of Palestinian fishermen who were fishing off the coast of Gaza City. Israel maintains a three nautical mile fishing limit, enforced since the 2008 military offensive launched on the Gaza Strip. Gazan fishermen are ongoingly harassed inIsraeli gunboats.
Also, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama asking that he releases Jonathan Pollard, who was spying on Israel’s best ally, the United States, and was sentenced in 1987 to life in prison.
In separate reports, Israeli troops arrested five activists from a European pro-Palestine movement as they were trying to cross the Al Hamra military roadblock, in the West Bank.
With regard to the failed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Israeli hard right-wing foreign affairs minister Avigdor Lieberman, speaking to Agency France Press in an exclusive interview, stressed on Tuesday that at least a decade is needed to reach a political agreement with the Palestinians as he does not see any real goodwill from the Palestinian leadership and there are other issues which have higher priority.
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.