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Welcome to Palestine Today on this Thursday 5th of May 2011. This is the daily round up of today’s events from around Palestine as brought to you by the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org. I am Kevin Murphy.
Maan news agency has reported that Norway has come out in support of the new unified Palestinian state and says it will continue to send aid to the Palestinian Authority until 2012. In related news Norway’s announcement comes as more and more states pledge their support for the drive for Palestinian statehood in September. Britain and France have stated their openness to supporting the unilateral declaration by the new Palestinian unity government if Israel fails to engage in meaningful peace talks.
Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu has declared today that Israel will not negotiate with a Hamas Fatah unity government. Netanyahu claimed Hamas were a “Palestinian version of Al Qaeda”. The Israeli leader is in Europe to lobby against the unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood in September as well as the recent unity deal.
Both Maan news agency and the Palestinian Information Centre are reporting the arrest of Islamic Jihad leader, Taraq Qadan in the northern West Bank town of Jenin today. An Israeli military spokesman said the arrest was one of seven made in the West Bank overnight.
In their first private meeting since signing a unity deal, Hamas and Fatah officials have agreed to a swift establishment of a transitional government. The issue of political prisoners and the agenda for a new cabinet would be finalised by the new government.
Yohanan Locker is the latest of several Israeli military figures who have forgone travel to the UK in fear of arrest for war crimes due to his role in Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09. Locker was due to accompany Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu on his current trip to the UK. As part of British law Palestinian groups have been able to secure arrest warrants for Israeli military officials for participation in war crimes. However legislation is due to be introduced that would require all such arrest warrants to be approved by the director of public prosecutions.
Gaza held its first ever marathon today. The course took in the full 42 km of the coastal territory and was successfully completed by 9 runners with up to 1,000 schoolchildren successfully completing smaller sections of the course. The race was won by local London 2012 Olympic Games hopeful Nadar al Masri with a time of 2 hours and 42 minutes.
A small community of Bedoiun were today targeted for the third time by the Israeli military in Khirbet Amniyr. The community, in the Southern West Bank, had their makeshift homes destroyed under military zoning laws which prohibit Palestinian construction in the areas. Under Israeli law 60 percent of the West Bank is inaccessible to Palestinians.
That is all for today from the Palestinian Occupied Territories. Please join us again tomorrow for our weekly roundup of the news. Alternatively you can read our coverage on www.imemc.org . This was brought to you by Kevin Murphy and Husam Qassis