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Welcome to Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, for Wednesday May 25th, 2011

A “Move over AIPAC” activist who interrupted Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu during his speech to US Congress has been hospitalized due to injuries received. Rae Abileah, a 28 year old Jewish American of Israeli descent, heckled Netanyahu from the gallery of US Congress.

Abileah shouted “stop Israeli war crimes” before being confronted by American Israel Public Affairs Committee members in the gallery who tackled her to the ground before she was led out by security. In a statement said; “They assaulted me and I fell on the floor. The activists strangled me and beat me. Then I was dragged out by police who arrested me.’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to US Congress was met with standing applause on over 25 occasions from US Democratic and Republican Party members. During the talk Netanyahu restated his belief that Israel had the right to all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu also denied any possibility of dismantling Israeli settlements or withdrawing from East Jerusalem. Echoing US President Barrack Obama’s talk to AIPAC Netanyahu ruled out any possibility of Palestinian refugees returning to their homes in Israel.
Palestinian sources reacted angrily to the speech. Responding to the statements of Netanyahu, Palestinian Chief Negotiator, Dr Saeb Erekat, said that Netanyahu is not a man of peace and that his speech did not present anything new, adding that Netanyahu “mixed history with geography in his public relations, dictation filled speech”. President Abbas’s secretary general At-Tayyib Abdul-Rahim slammed the US Congress reaction to the speech as “pathetic”.

The Palestinian Authority has reaffirmed its determination to go to the UN General Assembly in September in light of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to US Congress. PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas in a talk to the PA has stated; “we said in the past and we still say that our choice is negotiation, negotiation and nothing but negotiation. But if nothing happens by September we will go.

While some analysts had expected Netanyahu to make concessions in his speech to Congress that might have encouraged the PA to avoid going to the UN in September, no such progress was made.

After the Hamas political bureau chief, Khaled Mashal, said that the movement would give Israel a chance to prove its seriousness in peace talks, Hamas political leader, Mahmoud Zahhar, denounced the statements of Mashal.

Hamas’ political bureau in Damascus was fast in responding to the statements of Zahhar. Member of Hamas’ political bureau, Izzat Al Rishiq, said that the statements of Zahhar are wrong and do not represent the stances of Hamas movement, and are considered a violation to the organizational charts of the movement “as he should not be uttering statements that target the leader of the movement”.

The recent statements are considered the first time that Hamas leaders express conflicting opinions.

Thats all for today from the IMEMC. This was the Wednesday 25 of May’s daily roundup of news from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We hope you will join us again tomorrow. This was brought to you by Husam Qassis and me Kevin Murphy