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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for Tuesday, March 15, 2011.

On Tuesday, Israeli forces have maintained a closure of the village of Awarta for the last three days, the forces have preventing all residents from leaving their homes, with no indication as to when the closure will end and the residents will be allowed out of their homes. Any person caught leaving their home for any reason has been abducted by Israeli troops.

The village closure began soon after the murder of an Israeli family on Friday night in Itamar settlement, located near the village of Awarta in the northern West Bank.

Secretary-General of the leftist Palestinian People Party, Bassam Salhi, stated Monday, that the PPP will not join the new interim government that is expected to be declared soon by Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad.

Salhi said that the PPP supports holding general elections on schedule, adding that polls should be free of political rifts between the factions.

Abdullah Abu Rahme, a Palestinian organizer of the weekly non-violent demonstrations in Bil’in village, in the central West Bank, was released from prison, on Monday, after serving a 16-month sentence for ‘incitement’.

Dozens of supporters waited for Abu Rahme’s release for hours on Monday outside of Ofer Prison, near Ramallah in central West Bank. They included Israelis, Palestinians and international non-violent activists who waved flags and held signs and posters of Abu Rahme.

Tuesday saw massive protest by Palestinians calling for unity, both political, and amongst all Palestinian persons worldwide, organized by a number of activist groups and the Youth for the End of Internal Divisions campaign.

The campaign issued a statement calling on the Palestinian people to march peacefully carrying Palestinian flags and signs calling for national unity among all Palestinians and their factions.

In Gaza, hundreds of families installed tents at the Square of the Unknown Soldier, on Monday, in preparation for the massive popular protests and protestors gathered in Ramallah’s al-Manara Square, declaring a hunger strike till unity is achieved.

Thousands protested, on Tuesday, in Gaza City, Bethlehem and Ramallah, although in Gaza, Hamas supporters attempted to co-opt the rally.

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 Circarre Parrhesia.