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Welcome to Palestine Today on this Monday 9th 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 David Steele

A group of extremist Israeli youths, members of the outlawed Kach Movement, tried to prevent Palestinian nonviolent resistance leader, Abdullah Abu Rahma, from speaking at a forum in Paris, by creating chaos, acting in a violent way and trying to physically attack him.

Palestinian medical sources in occupied East Jerusalem reported Friday that dozens of residents were injured after Israeli soldiers and policemen attacked a protest in Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem. Two homes caught fire after soldiers fired teargas bombs into them.

Palestinian Detainees imprisoned in four Israeli detention facilities held a hunger strike on Saturday, as part of the gradually escalating hunger strike demanding the prison administration to release several detainees from solitary confinement.

As the Palestinian leadership is gaining momentum among the international community in its intention to declare an independent state at the United Nations, several Israeli leaders started calling for isolating President Mahmoud Abbas and for redeploying the Israeli forces in Palestinian areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

The Israeli Authorities placed the occupied Palestinian territories under a full and strict closure as it marks its “Memorial Day”, an official day in Israel dedicated for Israeli soldiers killed due to the Palestinian-Israeli and Arab-Israeli conflict.
The Israeli Radio reported that’s the siege started on Sunday at dawn and will remain in place until Wednesday at dawn. The Palestinians will not be allowed into Israel unless they have an urgent condition, and after filing an official request to the Israeli District Coordination Office (DCO). Israel always isolates the occupied territories, and in many cases closes the borders, while it marks its official holidays.
on Saturday at night a group of gunmen killed a resident from Al Jalazoun refugee camp, north of the central West bank city of Ramallah, believed to be a collaborator with Israel’s army and its intelligence services.

A group of extremist armed Israeli settlers attacked, on Sunday evening, Wadi Al Hilwa area in the northern plains of the West Bank, and demanding local Bedouins to leave the area. Local sources reported that the settlers came from Maskiot illegal settlement, installed on Palestinian lands, and are planning to expand their settlement.

The settlers marched in the area while chanting anti-Arab slogans and demanding the residents to leave. The area in Question is “not recognized’ by Israel, and deprived of all civil services. The residents, all shepherds, were repeatedly attacked by the settlers. The sources said that the settlers carried their attack out while the army surrounded the area. The area is regarded by the army as a “closed military zone”, and the residents received several demolition orders targeting their property.
The Israeli Prison Authorities decided to renew the administrative detention order against elected legislator, Dr. Mahmoud Al Ramahi, for additional six months. Al Ramahi was placed under administrative detention, without charges, six months ago and was supposed to be released on Monday.

The Islamic-Christian Committee for Defending Jerusalem and the Holy Sites, warned on Sunday of a new Israeli plan to build 386 units for Jewish` settlers in Sheikh Jarrah Palestinian neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.
Hasan Khater, secretary-general of the committee, said that the Israeli regional Construction and Planning Committee, approved the new constructions recently. Khater added that the constructions will be conducted on 8000 square/meters, and will include a synagogue, a religious Jewish school (Yeshiva), and a kindergarten. He further stated that the project is in its final planning stages. The project will eventually displace more than 300 Jerusalemite Palestinians.

Israeli paper, Maariv, reported that French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, presented last week meeting with Israeli prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a proposal for a peace conference in France aiming at signing a final peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians by the end of this month.

Head of the Political Bureau of the Hamas movement, Khaled Mashal, urged the United States and the European Union to support the Palestinian Unity Agreement, and added that a Palestinian recognition of Israel cannot be conducted before an independent state is established. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has officially recognized Israel and its right to exists during the Oslo peace agreement in the mid-nineties. Israel on the other hand, never recognized the legitimate Palestinians rights to statehood and independence.

The EU has undermined efforts by Israel to stop the flow of money into the Palestinian Authority’s budget through an 85 million euro payment to the Palestinian administration. The payment is in addition to the 100 million euro payment approved earlier this year as part of funding for Palestinian state building efforts.

The Israeli peace group, Gush Shalom, has sharply criticised a decision to hold a criminologists’ conference in the settlement of Ariel, deep inside the West Bank. On Sunday, Gush Shalom sent a series of letters to Israeli and international criminologists who are due to lecture at the conference, entitled ‘Pink Crime – Women, Crime and Punishment’ reminding them that the conference itself is complicit in a serious breach of international law. The conference is located at the ‘University of Samaria’ in the settlement of Ariel, which is in the heart of the West Bank. Ariel is of considerable strategic importance because it sits on a major water source, facilitating Israeli control of the Mountain Aquifer.

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 Husam Qassis and me David steele

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