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Welcome to Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, for Wednesday June 15th, 2011

A new report by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics has revealed that Palestinians consume a total of one third of their income on foodstuffs and only 1.5% on recreation and 3% on personal care. The report showed that household consumption on necessities was greater than a third of total average household spending in the Palestinian Territories. The next biggest expenditure group was transport and communication at 15.2%. Average expenditure in the West Bank was higher, at 993 JD, then Gaza, which was 680 JD for the period. Average household size for the West Bank is 5.7 while it is 6.6 in Gaza.

The UN Disengagement Force have reported their findings that Syria allowed Palestinian Refugees access to the Syria-Israeli occupied Golan border. The report also concluded however that Syrian officials did not organize the protests, according to AFP. The UN group, charged with monitoring the ceasefire between Syria and Israel, claimed that on May 15th and June 8th protesters’ made their way to the border and “despite the presence of the Syrian police, crossed the ceasefire line, through an unmarked minefield’. However documents linked to telegraph blogger Chris Weiss purportedly show direct Syrian involvement in transporting protesters to the border region.

The Turkish organization IHH has said it is reconsidering its participation in the planned “Freedom Flotilla 2” set to sail for Gaza on June 27th. The group has sighted recent developments in Syria as well as the easing of restrictions on goods going into Gaza from the Rafah Gaza-Egypt border crossing as influencing considerations on whether to sail. Huge pressure has been put on Turkey’s government to prevent the IHH, which Israel considers a terrorist group, from taking part in the flotilla. While FM Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey cannot stop the IHH from setting sail he encouraged the group to reconsider. The group is part of 22 boats set to sail to Gaza with the aim of breaking the Israeli siege on the Palestinian coastal hamlet on June 22nd.

Israeli media sources reported Wednesday that the Israeli army and the navy are intensifying their training and preparing plans to intercept the Freedom Flotilla 2 should it try to reach the Gaza Coast to deliver humanitarian supplies. The Israeli Navy has focused its training to intercept the Freedom Flotilla aimed at avoiding last year’s deadly Israeli attack against the Freedom Flotilla that led to the death of nine Turkish activists and dozens of injuries. On Tuesday, the Israeli Prison Administration transferred dozens of Palestinian detainees from Qidar detention facility to Ramon in order to make space for the possibility of massive arrests among the activists.

According to local sources, several squadrons of Israeli soldiers invaded the Nablus region at around 2:30 am Wednesday morning, abducting 8 Palestinians from their homes. The soldiers invaded the villages of Ein Yabous and Beit Dajan, in the Nablus region, in the northern West Bank, breaking into homes and abducting Palestinians from their beds. Those arrested included well known lawyer Abu Za’lan.

Israeli authorities are rumoured to have attacked Palestinian political prisoners held in Qidar prison and transferred half to the prison of Rimon. Inmates were attacked when they refused to be strip searched by prison guards. Four men were said to be injured during the attacks which were communicated through a letter smuggled out of the prison.

Thats all for today from the IMEMC. This was the Wednesday 15th 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 Daviud Steele