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Welcome to Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, for Wednesday June 1st , 2011

Refugees are preparing for a second display of mass civil disobedience on June 5th as part of commemorations of “Naksa Day”. Palestinian refugees plan to once again gather at Israel’s borders between Syria and Lebanon in a repeat of actions taken on Nakba Day of this year.

Fatah official in Eil Hilweeh refugee camp in Lebanon, Muneer Maqda, has said that 50,000 Palestinian refugees will march on Israel’s borders from two separate locations, Maron Ar-Ras and Naqoura, according to Maan News Agency. The refugees will erect tents until they are granted their right of return to their homes in Palestine, the official added.

The refugees are seeking to return to the homes they were ejected from in 1948 and 1967 during Israel’s foundation and expansion. International law recognises Palestinian’s right of return however Israel has continuously refused to allow those that left to return to their properties. 16 people were killed by live Israeli fire during marches on Nakba Day this year.

Tensions between Hamas and the Egyptian regime over delays and restrictions of movement at the Egypt-Gaza Rafah border crossing have been eased in overnight talks, according to Maan News Agency. The two sides have agreed to cap the amount of people travelling to 400 per day and to release the list of those permitted to travel the day before. The list will prioritise students and those travelling for medical reasons.

Egypt’s list of 5,000 blacklisted individuals who are prevented from travelling to Gaza for security reasons had angered Hamas, however both sides have agreed to undertake talks to resolve the matter. Hamas has called on Gazans to respect Egypt’s security so as not to endanger the recent ease in restrictions at Rafah.

Goods are still not permitted to move to and from the crossing and must go through Israel’s crossing at Eratz. Those allowed to travel through Rafah must still possess an Israeli approved Gaza ID card. This prevents freedom of movement to those from the West Bank who wish to travel to Gaza and those inside Gaza who were never granted an ID, numbering the tens of thousands, from exiting.

on Wednesday at dawn Israeli soldiers attacked “Khirbit Yizra” village in the Jordan Valley of the occupied West Bank, and displaced its residents under the claim that the area is a “closed military zone”. Local sources reported that the soldiers displaced more than 200 shepherds living in the area after surrounding and isolating it.

Mokhlis Masaeed, head of the Khirbit Yizra village Council, said that the army moved artillery equipment, tanks, and armored vehicles into the area in order to use it as a military training zone, especially since the geography of the area is similar to southern Lebanon. Masaeed added that there are already three Israeli military bases in the area, and that several residents have been killed and wounded by stray bullets fired by the army during training.

On Tuesday, the army demolished 13 structures owned by Arab Bedouins in the Al-Farisiyya and Al-Meita areas, in Wadi Al Maleh, in the northern Jordan Valley. Eight homes were demolished in the Al Meita area in the upper Wadi Al Maleh, home to hundreds of Bedouins, although the homes are far away from the Israeli military camps. Six more homes were leveled in the nearby Al-Farisiyya area.

The Ministerial Council of the Arab League held a session on Tuesday at night and decided to form a higher committee that will be tasked with supervising and monitoring the implementation of the reconciliation agreement between Fateh and Hamas.
Following its urgent meeting, the Arab League issued a statement revealing that the new committee will be headed by Egypt. The United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Algeria and Morocco are members of the new committee in addition to the Secretary-General of the Arab League.

On Wednesday at dawn, Israeli soldiers abducted three children in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and took them to an unknown destination. Troops installed roadblocks in the Hebron district, invaded several nearby villages and towns, broke into and searched several homes causing damage. The Palestine news and Info Agency, WAFA, reported that the army kidnapped Ata Abu Ramouz, 17, his brother Mohammad, 13, and Dia’ Ed-Deen Atiyya, 16.

Furthermore, soldiers invaded the nearby towns and villages of Ithna, Yatta and Beit Anoun, and installed roadblocks leading to Halhoul, Ithna and Beit Awwa in addition to the As-Sihla and Tal’at Abu Hadeed areas., soldiers Also invaded Beit Amra area, north of Yatta in the Hebron district, and imposed curfew before breaking into several homes and searching them causing damage to their property.

Resident, Ala’ Mohammad Deis, 25, said that soldiers violently attacked his 55-year-old father while searching his home and destroying its property. Deis added that soldiers also destroyed some of the walls in his father’s home and the home of one of their relatives, and searched several nearby homes.

A Palestinian worker from Bethlehem suffered bruises and concussions after being violently attacked and beaten by Israeli soldiers and police officers as he was working at a construction site in East Jerusalem. The resident, Eyad Obeyyat, 30, was working in Sur Baher village, east of Jerusalem, when the soldiers kidnapped him and took him to a different location where he was violently assaulted before he was released. He was moved to the Beit Jala governmental hospital suffering serious injuries.

Israeli police presence in East Jerusalem has been increased to control a march of 30,000 religious Zionists through Arab neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem as part of Jerusalem Day celebrations, according to Haaretz.

The march plans to move through the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah which is the site of repeated clashes between Israeli security forces and local residents. Sheikh Jarrah has been targeted by Jewish settlers who have established enclaves and outposts in what is, according to residents, a concerted effort to alter the neighbourhoods demographic.

Palestinians demand East Jerusalem as their future capital under a two state solution to the conflict. Israeli peace group Gush Shalom have called on Jerusalem Day to be cancelled as it commemorates the annexation of Palestinian property.

Thats all for today from the IMEMC. This was the Wednesday 1st of June 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 David Steele