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Welcome to Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media Centre www.imemc.org, for Thursday June 9th, 2011

Maan news agency is reporting that five Palestinian men, including minors, were abducted over night during raids on West Bank towns and villages by the Israeli military. Israeli soldiers raided the towns of Tammun, Tuqu and Azzun overnight and detained five, damaged property and confiscated the camera of a journalist documenting the raids, according to witnesses. In the village of Taqu four brothers, two of whom were minors, were arrested on charges of throwing stones.

Sections of Hamas’s political leadership are debating proposals to stay out of future governments in the Palestinian Territories in a bid to avoid international isolation, according to AFP. The political and militant group’s opinion ratings have taken a hit since it seized control of government in Gaza in 2007 and polls show that support for Fatah would lead it to a clear majority if elections were held today. Hamas officials claimed that ‘Hamas found that being in government caused huge damage to the movement, and therefore it has changed its policy”. The movement has been criticized from both moderates and more radical elements for its policies in Gaza. The proposals would mean Hamas would take seats in parliament but not in cabinet.

According to a report by Haaretz, based on conversations with Palestinian and UN officials, divisions between the PA leadership have emerged over plans to seek statehood at the UN in September. Opponents of the move in the PA leadership such as Fayyed as well as former Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and the former Palestinian UN envoy Nasser al-Qudwa have expressed concerns that the plan may alienate US support. The group has also voiced fears that any recognition of Palestinian statehood would be within provisional borders that may lead to the perpetuation of the status quo on East Jerusalem and Palestinian refugee’s right of return.

A new poll conducted by Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre has shown that incumbent Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad is the most favoured among Palestinians to lead the next unity government. the poll, based on a random sample of 1198 Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, showed that 44.4% preferred Fayyed for the position while 12.3% favoured Gaza law maker Jamal al-Khudaree. The poll showed that leading up to fresh elections in 2012, just over twice the number of respondents, at 26.5%, preferred a Fatah led government. The poll also showed support for a declaration of statehood in September as well as the recent unity deal between Fatah and Hamas.

The Palestinian man involved in an road incident in which one Israeli died and 17 injured. Issa Islam has been charged with murder, seven counts of attempted murder, endangering human lives in a transportation lane, inflicting aggravated injury and aggravated assault with intent to harm. Islam was accused of intentionally attacking Israeli motorists in Tel Aviv using his truck on Nakba Day of this year. Islam states that the accident was caused by a blown tire and denies any intent to harm

Thats all for today from the IMEMC. This was the Thursday 9th 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 Kevin Murphy.

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