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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for Thursday April 14th, 2011.

Two fighters die in the Gaza Strip and Israel approves new settlement units in the West Bank, these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.

Palestinian medical sources reported on Thursday morning that a fighter died of wounds suffered last Thursday, April 7th, after the Israeli army bombarded Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

The fighter was identified as Mahdi Abu Ghadra, 21. The Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas issued a press release stating that the fighter is one of its members in Rafah.

With the death of Abu Ghadra, the number of Palestinians killed during the recent Israeli offensive stands at 19, while at least 60 residents were wounded, some seriously. Children, women and elderly are among the casualties.

Moreover, another Palestinian fighter was accidentally killed on Wednesday evening while handling a grenade west of Jabalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. The fighter is a member of the National Resistance Committees, the armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). He was identified as Jihad Abu Elba, 22.

The Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center reported that Israeli soldiers violated a ruling issued by the Israeli High Court, and demolished six tin-houses and barns that belong to Bedouin residents living in Al Nwei’ma area, near the city of Jericho in the West Bank.

In the meantime, the Israeli Regional Construction and Planning Committee approved a new settlement plan that aims at constructing 900 units for Jewish settlers in an area adjacent to the Palestinian village of Al Walaja in the Bethlehem District. The units will be built close to the Gilo illegal settlement that was built on lands that were illegally annexed from the Palestinians.

The newly approved plan comes shortly after the so-called Regional Construction Committee approved the construction of 942 units for Jewish settlers south of Gilo settlement, adjacent to Al-Walaja village. The two projects complement each other as they will ensure the expansion of Gilo settlement from the south with a total addition of more than 1800 units.

Detainee Maher Odah, 48, from Ein Yabroud village near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, was forced into exile on Wednesday evening after the Israeli government decided to deport him to Malaysia.

An Israeli court decided on Tuesday at night to extend the remand of two elected Palestinian legislators for additional six month under administrative detention, once again, without an indictment.

EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, has announced an agreement giving all agricultural products originating in the West Bank and Gaza Strip duty free access to the EU market. The step is seen as a positive upgrade in European-Palestinian relations in preparations for the recognition of a Palestinian State during the upcoming UN meeting in September.

That sums up our news for today, thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Media Center. For more updates please visit our website at This report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me, George Rishmawi.