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Welcome to Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org for Monday July 4, 2011.
Israel to build more settlements in the West Bank meanwhile, activists go on hunger strike in Athens after Greek Authorities arrested a boat heading to Gaza, these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
The Palestinian Authority will pay only half the due salary amount to its government employees this month due to a shortfall in funding from donor nations, according to Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyed.
The Palestinian Premiere has claimed that a failure in donor nations to supply the PA with promised funding has left it with a $30 million per month shortfall which has been so far filled through private loans.
A controversial gas pipeline in Nagah, the Bir Abdu region, has been blown up for the third time since February on Monday. The pipeline that connected gas to Jordan and Israel has been closed down as a result of the explosion. Two masked armed men are said to have threatened the guards before setting the explosives. The attacks on the pipeline are due to claims that Egypt was selling gas to Israel bellow the market price.
Activists set to sail to Gaza as part of the Freedom Flotilla 2 movement, but prevented by the Greek navy and coastguard, have begun a hunger strike outside the US embassy in Athens. The activists are calling on the US government to pressure Greece to release the detained US ship’s captain, John Klusmer, and to allow the flotilla leave for its destination. A New York lawyer due to sail with the Flotilla has protested the ‘deplorable conditions’ Klusmer has been kept during his arrest and detention in Greek prison. The activists say they will continue their fast and review it on Monday night.
The Israeli TV reported that Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, issued direct orders allowing Jewish settlers to build hundreds of units in colonies near the West Bank cities of Bethlehem and Nablus. Israeli Channel 2 said that the Israeli Housing Ministry confirmed that Ehud Barak had personally signed the permits following the deadly stabbing attack that targeted Itamar illegal settlement near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The attack took place in March this year leading to the death of a settler father, mother and three of their children, including an infant.
Israel is to return the bodies of 84 Palestinian fighters killed in Israel since 1967. The bodies of 84 Palestinians killed in hostilities between Israel and Palestinian fighters, will be returned to the PA. The bodies have until now been kept in Israel in what Israel calls ‘enemy fighter cemeteries’ and Palestinians call ‘cemeteries of numbers’, as the deceased are identified with numbers only.
Palestinian forensic experts are due to travel to the sites in order to identify the bodies which currently lie with no names, gravestone or other means of identification, but numbers.
That’s all for today from the IMEMC News. This was the Monday 4th of July daily roundup of news from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We hope you will join us again tomorrow. This report was brought to you by Saher Al-Sous and me George Rishmawi.