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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday April 19th, 2011

Palestinian sources in the southern West Bank city of Hebron reported on Tuesday morning that Israeli soldiers broke into and occupied a number of homes and used them as monitoring towers.

The sources stated that soldiers occupied the home of Issa Al Froukh, located near Beit Einoun-Sair Junction, overlooking settlement road number 60. The soldiers placed their gear on top of the home and prevented the family from moving freely in their own property.

Soldiers also broke into the home of Omar Shabana, at the entrance of Bani Neim town, also overlooking a settlement road, and used its rooftop as a monitoring tower.

Furthermore, troops occupied rooftops of several homes near the Keryat Arba’ illegal settlement, in Hebron, and restricted the movement of the residents.
The army stated that the measure was conducted in order to provide security for the settlers during the Jewish Pesach feast.

The Lifeline for Gaza Jordanian Committee issued a press release denying allegations that Abdul-Rahman Al Breizat, one of the suspects in the murder of the Italian peace activist, Vittorio Arrigoni, was a member of one of its convoys.

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Territories has called for Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons to be provided with protection due to repeated violations of their human rights by their captors.

Maxwell Gaylard stated that Palestinian detainees, especially detained women and children, need urgent protection. Gaylard stated on Monday that International Law and human rights principles must be applied regardless of the reasons behind their detention.

He also stated that preventing the families of the detainees from visiting them contradicts the international law, adding that isolating the detainees from their families breaks up family ties. Gaylard said that there are 200 children below the age of 18, and 37 women imprisoned by Israel. He stated that all detained minors must be granted special protection.

Member of the Political Bureau of the Hamas Movement, Izzat Al Rishiq, stated that the movement has agreed to the Arab offer to host and mediate Palestinian reconciliation and national unity talks.

A Palestinian security official stated Tuesday that the murderer of Israeli-Palestinian director, Juliano Mer-Khamis, is still at large as DNA tests exonerated a suspect who was detained by the security forces following the murder.

A recent poll by Norwegian pollster Fafo, has shown that Palestinians are very concerned about human rights violations and corruption and have little faith in the courts or public institutions. Whilst there were differences between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the primary findings were consistent across the occupied Palestinian territories. UNRWA is by far the most trusted institution, and received particularly high levels of support (78%) from those it serves living in refugee camps. Palestinians are increasingly disillusioned by all political parties with 35% would not vote, although Fatah receives considerably greater support than its rivals across the occupied Palestinian territories.

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 www.imemc.org. This report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me David Steele

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