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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for Monday April 18th, 2011

On Friday, Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly non-violent protest in Bil’in village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, as local residents along with Israeli and international supporters marched against the illegal Annexation Wall and settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Resident Samir Burnat, 35, was shot in his shoulder and foot by rounds of the “Tutu” ammunition that were outlawed by the Israeli court in 2001, which the army nevertheless continues to use.

Residents Basil Mansour, 24, Mohammad Burnat, 22, were injured by cartridge fragments of the illegal rounds, and Fadi Al Khatib, 15, was wounded in the hand.

Prime Minister of the dissolved Government in the Gaza Strip, Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyya, phoned on Friday the mother of slain Italian activist, Palestine Solidarity Movement member, Vittorio Arrigoni, providing his sincere condolences and the condolences of the Palestinian people, and vowing to apprehend and prosecute the murderers.

Two Palestinians admitted that they killed the settler family in the illegal settlement of Itamar last March, Israeli media sources reported on Sunday. Two Palestinian were identified as Hakim Awwad, 17 and Amjad Awwad, 19 from the village of Awarta near Nablus city in the northern West Bank. Hakim and Amjad are now in Israeli detention and Israel claims they have confessed to the charges.

The Maan News agency, reported that the mother of Hakim said her son was at home when the Itamar killing took place and that he went to bed around 9:30 adding that he has had surgery that means that he is unable to walk long distances, and needs to go to the rest room every hour. There is suspicion amongst many Palestinians that the two may have been tortured.

Human Rights activists in the Gaza Strip announced that they will be launching this Wednesday a boat tasked with accompanying Palestinian fishing boats to monitor and document the repeated Israeli Navy attacks against them.

Israel prepares to mark the Jewish Pesach feast, the Israeli army placed the occupied West Bank under strict siege starting Sunday at midnight and lasting until April 26. Israeli enforces this type of closure each year around Pesach and other major Jewish holidays.

Such closures also restrict the freedom of movement of the Palestinians within the occupied territories as the army enforces further restrictions, especially on roads that are also used by Jewish settlers and main roads linking between different parts of the occupied territories.

In related news, the Israeli Army decided to close the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron this coming Wednesday and Thursday due to Jewish Pesach.

The Israeli Police arrested on Sunday evening Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in the 1948 territories.

The Palestinian Police in Gaza released pictures and names of three persons believed to be behind the murder of Italian peace activist, Vitorio Arrigoni. The Police stated that evidence against the suspects is solid. The Palestine Today newspaper reported that the three detained suspects are Mohammad Al Breizat, Bilal Al Omary and Mahmoud Al Salfity. Al Breizat, also known as Mohammad Hassan is a Jordanian national; he is believed to have enter Gaza through a tunnel.

A 16-year old boy who was in a schoolbus struck by a Palestinian shell on Thursday April 7th died of his wounds Sunday. He and a bus driver, who were the only people on the bus when it was hit, were both injured – the youth in his head and the driver with shrapnel in his leg.

On Monday at dawn Israeli soldiers abducted six Palestinians in several parts of the occupied West Bank, and took them to interrogation centers. The six Palestinians were detained after the army broke into their homes in Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus and Ramallah. The army conducts daily invasions into the occupied territories, including areas that are under the “control” of the Palestinian Authority.

Agidea Prata, the mother of Vittorio Arrigoni, the Italian activist and journalist killed in Gaza on Friday, said that she will be sailing to Gaza on May with the Free Gaza flotilla.

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 David Steele