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The United States issued a statement on Wednesday denouncing the provisional unity deal signed between the rival Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas, and the Hamas movement. The U.S. said that such a deal could lead Washington to cut U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority.
According to “Your Jewish News” website, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, U.S. House Affairs Chairwoman, issued a statement denouncing the unity deal, stating that under existing U.S. laws, the P.A. cannot receive fund from the U.S.
Since the P.A. was established in mid-nineties, the United States has provided it with financial aid that amounts to more than $3.5 billion. It is also the largest donor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the region. Israel, on the other hand, receives more than 3.6 Billion a year from the United States.
In the meantime, the Israeli Human Rights group, Gush Shalom, issued a press statement on Thursday welcoming the reconciliation agreement between the two Palestinian rival groups. On their part, the coalition of youth who started the “March 15th” motion demanding end of division between Fatah and Hamas, welcomed the move and warned against its failure, reciting the failure of the Meccan agreement signed in 2007.
The coalition also demanded the two parties to take practical steps in order to solidify the agreement.
A group of at least ten armed Israeli settlers violently attacked several farmers in Wadi Qana, near the West Bank city of Salfit, and hurled stones at them wounding a number of farmers.
Local sources said that Hilwa Mansour, 84 was among the wounded and her wounds were described as moderate.
A group of armed extremist Israeli settlers hurled Molotov cocktails at several Palestinian stores in the southern West Bank city of Hebron late Wednesday, causing fire in four stores, leading to excessive damage, and massive losses.
The Palestine Information Center reported that the attack was carried out in the Kazazeen Market in the old city of Hebron.
Palestinian firefighters rushed to the scene but were blocked by Israeli soldiers who claimed that the area is a closed military zone.
In other news, the Egyptian Authorities allowed on Wednesday evening six Palestinians who were in Egyptian prisons to return to the Gaza Strip via the Rafah Border Terminal.
Imad Al Sayyid, spokesperson of the families of Palestinian detainees in Egyptian prisons, confirmed that the six Palestinians were released and crossed into the Gaza Strip. Since the beginning of the revolution that ousted former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian Authorities released 46 detained Palestinians.
There are currently at least twenty Palestinians imprisoned by the Egyptian Authorities, including six whose place of detention or whereabouts are still unknown.
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 George Rishmawi.