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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Monday, March 28, 2011.
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, met on Saturday with Hamas representatives in the West Bank and told them he plans to head to Gaza in an attempt to end internal rifts and to form an interim unity government run by independent figures.
During the meeting, Abbas stated that there can be no peace with Israel without establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and that the Palestinians need to achieve unity and reconciliation before they can hold national and presidential elections.
Only a few hours after several resistance factions, including the al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas, declared that they are committed to a ceasefire should Israel halt its attacks, Israeli soldiers assassinated fighters in the Gaza Strip on Sunday morning. One resident was moderately wounded.
The attack was carried out by the Israeli Air Force, who fired a missile at a vehicle driving on al-Sikka Road, in Jabalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli Magistrates Court in Jerusalem sentenced, on Sunday, an Israeli settler from a West Bank illegal settlement to 18 months imprisonment after convicting him of kidnapping and attacking a Palestinian teen.
Furthermore, the court also ordered the settler to pay NIS 50,000 in compensation for harm inflicted.
Officials from the Palestinian Authority criticized the destruction this week of an ancient water well and reservoir southeast of Bethlehem used by Palestinian Bedouin shepherds as their main sources of water.
According to the Bedouins, the destruction of the water well is an attempt by the Israeli authorities to push them off their ancestral land by rendering it uninhabitable.
The Israeli military invaded the Palestinian village of Ein al-Hilwe in the eastern part of the West Bank known as the Jordan Valley, an area subject to numerous recent attacks by Israeli settlers, and demolished the home of the Nabel Daraghmeh family over the weekend.
According to Jordan Valley Solidarity, the recent attacks by Israeli settlers who colonized the area in the last few years escalated three days ago when a group of settlers descended in the middle of the night on the area where the Daraghmeh family had their tent, setting up their own tent only metres away.
The Daraghmeh family legally rents the land from the Lutheran Church, and the family has lived there for fifteen years. However, the Israeli army recently ordered the family to dismantle and remove their home from the land. When they refused, the Israeli military invaded the family’s land and destroyed the tent in which the family lives, and the makeshift barns for their animals.
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.