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Welcome to Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, for Monday June 27, 2011

The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) one of three groups holding Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, captive since mid-2006, stated that the corporal could have been freed if Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had not obstructed prisoner-swap talks.

Egyptian security sources reported Sunday that four African persons were shot and killed by Egyptian Border Guards while trying to infiltrate into Israel, apparently seeking work.

On Monday during the night, Israeli bulldozers started the destruction of the Ma’man Allah ancient Muslim cemetery in occupied Jerusalem. This is part of the Israeli plan to construct a “Museum of Tolerance” on the cemetery ruins.

On Sunday at dawn, Israeli soldiers abducted three Palestinian children in Hebron, which is in the southern part of the West Bank. They were taken to unknown destinations.

As 38 US citizens prepare to join hundreds of others from around the world on a humanitarian aid mission to the Gaza Strip, the US State Department issued a statement that their participation in the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ of aid ships could be a violation of US law, and threatened to arrest those participating.

On Saturday June 25, about 50 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists gathered in Beit Ommar to demonstrate against the Israeli Karmei Tsur settlement, which has annexed hundreds of dunams of Palestinian land.

As demonstrators attempted to enter land belonging to Beit Ommar farmers, Israeli soldiers announced that the area was a closed military zone and said they would not allow anyone to pass. Several Palestinians and internationals then attempted to circumvent the military blockade.

At this point, at least 6 soldiers assaulted Mohammed G., a 22 year old Palestinian man from Surif. During attempts to rescue him from the attacks, two international activists were also arrested. A sound grenade was thrown by the soldiers into the midst of the demonstrators attempting to rush to his aid.

Greek officials claim they received an ‘anonymous tip’ over the weekend that the US Boat to Gaza, part of the ten-boat Freedom Flotilla, was not seaworthy. The officials demanded that the boat be subjected to a rigorous inspection before leaving Greek waters, and issued a warning to all ship captains in Greece that they should avoid the area around the Gaza Strip.

In another escalation against the Freedom Flotilla, heading to deliver humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip, the Israeli government stated Sunday that journalists, who are onboard the Freedom Flotilla 2 will be denied entry into Israel up to ten years.

The Israeli Radio reported that a number of Israeli security and military officials threatened that Israel could invade southern Lebanon should the security situation in villages there continue to deteriorate.

Palestinian Authority President Abbas confirmed on Sunday that he will pursue recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

Christian Peace Maker Team in Hebron have reported in increase in house raids with the arrival of a new brigade of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city. The team have stated that night time raids have become a common occurrence in the city ‘as Palestinians try to live some semblance of a normal life and Israeli Defense Forces prepare for war’.

Israel has declared that the Freedom Flotilla 2 will not be allowed to enter into the besieged Gaza Strip by sea. Israeli and Egyptian officials have agreed that the Flotilla will be allowed to unload its cargo at the Egyptian port El-Arish, where the humanitarian goods will be transferred by land into Gaza after being checked according to the Jerusalem Post newspaper.

Thats all for today from the IMEMC. This was the Thursday 27 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 Delores Child.