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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday March 2, 2011
Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is considering a plan that would lead to the establishment of a “Palestinian state with provisional borders”, and that this plan is intended to be part of a transitional peace deal with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu told his advisors and associates that Israel needs to take a step forward, especially dueto the increasing protests against different regimes in the Arab world. He said that Israel will try to reach a final peace deal within a year.
Yet, he claimed that the Palestinians are not currently interested in ending the conflict with Israel especially due to instability in the region and changes in Arab regimes.
The Jerusalem Municipality decided to transform a police station in the Palestinian neighborhood of Ras al-Amoud in Jerusalem into a settlement outpost, and approved the construction of 14 houses units that would become the base for a new settlement.
The new units will be built across the road from Maaleh Zeitim settlement, the largest Israeli settlement built in Arab neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem.
Yosef Alalu, member of the Meretz Party and opposition city council member, said that the public building could have been used as a school or other facility that could solve some of the problems in East Jerusalem. He added that the municipality instead decided to “Judaize Ras al-Amoud instead of solving its problems”.
Right-wing Israelis held a march through Jaffa to protest against what they deemed, “the Islamic movement gaining control” over the city. The march was organised by Michael Ben-Ari, an MK of the National Union.
Palestinian workers in the city staged a strike in protest whilst the march was taking place, and 16 Israeli counter protestors were arrested.
In Gaza, on Wednesday at dawn, Israeli Navy boats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats near the shore of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Damage was reported, but no injuries.
Hamas leader, and Prime Minister of the dissolved Hamas-led government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyya, stated that the Palestinian people want real reconciliation that addresses the current political changes in the Arab World, and that this reconciliation cannot be reached amidst collaboration with Israel and, ongoing political arrests.
Haniyya criticized Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority for what he called “its collaboration with the occupation to target the resistance, the political arrests and military courts conducted by Palestinian courts against Palestinian fighters and political activists in the West Bank”.
He continued, “The people deserve to remain informed, they deserve the truth, this is what is needed in order to advance reconciliation talks”.
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 Circarre Parrhesia.