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Welcome to Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, for Thursday June 30, 2011

Israeli sources reported that the army, a number of Israeli security officials and politicians, conducted on Tuesday a drill simulating the interception of the Freedom Flotilla 2, that will be heading to Gaza to deliver medical and humanitarian supplies. The drill started in a special operations room designed for this purpose, while personnel of the several ministries, the offices of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, attended and supervised the simulation.

Israel has also prepared videos and documents justifying an attack on the flotilla, and will be ready to be publish the reports on Internet feeds, to media agencies and through SMS messages.

According to activists on the Freedom Flotilla of aid ships to Gaza, a second boat has been severely damaged by unknown saboteurs who dove under the boat to damage the propeller shaft. The boat’s captain said that the way the boat was sabotaged was extremely dangerous, as it would have caused the propellor to cut through the boat’s hull and make the engine room to fill with water, thus sinking the boat while en route to Gaza.

As the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ of aid ships to Gaza prepares to depart this week, a video published on Youtube accusing the Flotilla organizers of homophobic bias, which was immediately disseminated by the Israeli Government Press Office and Agencies, turned out to be a fabrication published by an intern in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office. The video made by Israeli actor Omer Gershon was uncovered as a hoax this week and disavowed by the Israeli governement.

Hundreds of acres of olive orchards in Al Mazra’a al Gharbiya village were taken over by Israeli troops on Tuesday, who claimed that the area was a ‘closed military zone’ and that the land was being confiscated for military use.According to the local military commander overseeing Tuesday’s confiscation, Palestinian landowners have 45 days to contest the takeover by filing a complaint with the Ofer military court,. Complaints against the Israeli military have a poor record of success – less than 5% of such complaints result in the return of confiscated land, according to human rights groups.

Thats all for today from the IMEMC. This was the Thursday 30 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