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Welcome to Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org for Tuesday July 12h, 2011.
The last witness testified Sunday in an Israeli court case seeking justice for slain peace activist Rachel Corrie. Col. Pinhas (Pinky) Zuaretz claimed that Rachel’s death was her own fault for ‘running towards the fire’.
The 23-year old Evergreen State College student was killed in 2003 when she was run over by a US-made Caterpillar bulldozer driven by an Israeli soldier. At the time she was killed, Rachel was standing in front of a Palestinian family’s home with other activists, in a non-violent action meant to stop the Israeli military from demolishing the home.
Israeli opposition politicians and civil society have come out against new legislation passed Monday in the Knesset that outlaws the boycott of Israeli goods, including settlement goods, in the state of Israel. The bill has been slammed as destroying freedom of speech and destroying any remaining remnants of Israeli democracy by Israeli and Palestinian human rights and peace groups.
The pipeline transporting gas from Egypt to Israel has been targeted for the fourth time since the fall of the Egyptian Mubarak regime in February. The attacks are a response to accusations that Egyptian authorities are selling gas to Israel below market rates. The attack was near the Egyptian town of al Arish.
Maan news agency has reported pre dawn raids of the West Bank village of Husan near Bethlehem. Two youths, including a minor, were detained during the raid by Israeli military forces. Two abducted youths Montaser Mohammed Za’ul, 20, and Ahmed Ali Hamamra, 15,were detained on Tuesday morning due to “criminal matters” according to Israeli military sources.
The PA Minister for Detainee Affairs stated on Saturday that over 30 youths had been arrested between June and July from the village. Many of the youths, according to PA lawyer Hussein Ash-Sheikh, complain of harsh interrogation techniques, including beatings, and claim they are forced to sign legal documents in Hebrew and without consulting a lawyer.
Husan village is dominated by Israeli settlement Betar Illit. In 1978 the village numbered 7,134 dunams. Since the establishment of Betar Illit and land expropriations by the Israeli Defense Forces, the town has been reduced to 1,425 dunams.
The Quartet on the Middle East made up of the EU, UN, US, and Russia have neglected to release a statement from Mondays meeting in Washington on a way out of the impasse in peace talks between Palestinian and Israeli leadership. Israeli and Palestinian sources told Haaretz that there is no solution to the current stall in peace talks and that Palestinians are determined to push ahead with plans for a UN statehood bid in September.
Just one day after the controversial Boycott Bill was passed by the Israeli Knesset the Yisrael Beiteinu faction has announced its intention to table a vote on a law setting up commissions of inquiry into left wing group’s activity in Israel, according to YNet. The law, if passed, would likely target Israeli groups such as the Sheikh Jarrah solidarity campaign, Yesh Din, Peace Now and human rights organisations such as BT Selem.
The Israeli army has allegedly destroyed wells and water pumps in 3 Jordan Valley villages on Tuesday. The villages of al-Akrabanyah, an-Nasaryah and Beit Hassan all had the equipment confiscated or destroyed, according to the Ma’an News Agency. The villages are apparently located in Area A. The destruction of wells and associated equipment in an occupied territory is illegal under article 53 of the 4th Geneva Convention.
That’s rounds up the main news for today. Please join us again tomorrow for a summary of important events in the Palestinian Territories. You have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Media Centre. For more updates please visit our website at www.imemc.org. This report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me David Steele