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Welcome to Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, for Monday June 20th , 2011

After the recent burning of its mosque, on Friday, a group of extremist Israeli settlers torched Palestinian farmlands planted with wheat in the Al Mogheer village, north of the central west bank city of Ramallah.

Israeli paper, Haaretz, reported Friday that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, believes that there can be no peace agreement with the Palestinians unless they recognize Israel as a state for the Jewish people.

On Friday evening, a Lebanese Court sentenced an army officer to twenty years imprisonment after convicting him of spying for Israel.

25 Palestinian political prisoners in the Al Ramla Israeli detention facility are facing imminent death due to illegal Israeli policies that deprive the detainees from their right to medical treatment.

More than 200 Palestinians died in Israeli prisons due to the illegal Israeli policies of medical negligence since Israel occupied the rest of Palestine in addition Several Palestinians were shot and killed by the arresting soldiers and officers.

On Saturday an Egyptian official told Israeli reporters that there are active negotiations taking place with Palestinian resistance groups for the potential release of the Palestinians’ only Israeli prisoner, a soldier captured five years ago in Gaza – but added that Israel’s continued obstinance in the negotiation process could lead to the soldier’s disappearance.

Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, stated that he believes that United States will use its Veto power at the Security Council in order to prevent an international recognition of an independent Palestinian State this coming September.

On Sunday Eliezer Marom, the head of the Israeli Navy, issued a strict warning to the organizers of the Freedom Flotilla, dubbed in his speech as the “Hate Flotilla” that will be heading to the besieged Gaza Strip later this month to deliver humanitarian supplies. Flotilla organizers affirmed the peaceful nature of the flotilla and their determination to proceed to Gaza.

On Sunday, The Miles of Smiles humanitarian convoy entered into the Gaza Strip via the Rafah Border Terminal between Gaza and Egypt, carrying 50 human rights activists, medical and humanitarian supplies.

According to Al Jazeera the announcement of a interim unity government between political rivals Fatah and Hamas has been delayed due to disagreement between the two sides as to who would hold the position of Prime Minister.

Former Israeli Army chief Gabi Ashkenazi has warned Israel that it should return to negotiations with the PA to ward off Palestinian attempts to declare statehood in September, according to the Jerusalem Post paper

The Jerusalem municipality agreed to the expansion of 2,000 Settlement homes in Ramat Shlomo in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday. The plan allows for each Settlement household to add an additional room, according to a council press statement. The Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak justified the construction in Ramat Schlomo to France 24 television network saying, “there is no way to end construction’ in the West Bank. He pointed out that over 1/2 million settlers live there. All settlements are illegal under international law.

A Palestinian man was severely injured when Israeli soldiers shot him in the legs for allegedly carrying a knife at a checkpoint near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia on Sunday.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia voiced his support for the upcoming ‘Freedom Flotilla’ of aid ships and 500 supporters from around the world who plan to enter Gaza by sea on June 27th. A ship from Malaysia joins two new French ships added to the roster of a dozen ships set to sail to Gaza next week.

On Monday, Israeli soldiers detained 14 year old Muhammad Hamamrah after entering his home and searching the house. The town of Husan near Bethlehem in the South West Bank has been the target of Israeli military actions due to its proximity to the settler town of Betar Illit built in 1984. Villagers have complained of regular settler attacks to the village and of Israeli land demolitions and land confiscation.

According to the Palestine News Network, Salem Fayyed is to refuse the position of Palestinian interim government PM in the interests of national unity according to sources close to the current PM.

Israeli soldiers demolished on Monday seven Palestinian homes and tents that belong to residents of Khirbet Bir Al-Ad, east of Yatta town, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, the Pal Telegraph reported. Troops and members of the so-called Border Guards units invaded Yatta and proceeded to demolish the structures, and uprooted crops close to the Mas Yair illegal Israeli settlement, built on lands illegally confiscated from the residents of the town. Local sources reported that 90 residents, most of them shepherds and farmers, inhabited the demolished homes.

The Israeli human rights organization for the freedom of movement, Gisha, have been fined 25,000 NIS (7,250 USD) in legal fees as part of ruling against a case brought by the organization petitioning for freedom of movement for Muslim Palestinians to travel to Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

Israel is drawing up plans for a series of eventualities come September and a Palestinian declaration of statehood. The Migdal Oz plan, seen by YNet, is the Israeli document on how the army plans on maintaining order in the aftermath of the September state bid.

Israeli military officials in the GOC Central Command have outlined what they view to be the potential scenarios come September in terms of Palestinian reaction to a declaration of statehood.

The most likely scenario according to the commanders is a period of reflection by Palestinians where they compare reality with their expectations. However other scenarios include immediate protests and rioting or, according to some, all out war.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has stated that Israel would consider a deceleration of statehood by Palestinians as reneging on previous Palestinian Israeli agreements including the 1994 Oslo Agreement which established the Palestinian Authority.

Thats all for today from the IMEMC. This was the Monday 20 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