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Welcome to Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, for Tuesday July 26th, 2011

Israeli troops uproot trees and detain civilians in Al-Walaja meanwhile, Israeli Knesset extends a ban on family reunification of Palestinians for one more year, these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.

A group of extremist Israeli settlers torched, Monday night, Palestinian farmlands, that belong to the residents of Sorra village, west of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The attack took place after Israeli soldiers fired gas bombs and concussion grenades at Israeli peace activists who arrived at the scene in an attempt to prevent the settlers from uprooting Palestinian farmlands.

In the village of al-Walaja, Israeli troops detained, Shireen al-Araj and another local youth, from the village, when she together with a number of villagers and international peace activists attempted to stop Israeli bulldozers from uprooting olive trees in the village to build the wall. Al-Araj was released few hours later, but there is no news about the whereabouts of the other youth yet.

According to eyewitnesses, Israeli troops prevented the media to cover the incident and used violence to force everyone away from the area including a Mexican delegation with parliamentarians who came in solidarity with the villagers of Al-Walaja.

In political news, the Israeli Knesset approved a request by the government to extend the ban on family reunification for an additional year prohibiting granting Israeli citizenship, or even residency, to Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis or Syrians married to Israeli citizens.

Meanwhile, sources at the office of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, denied media reports claiming that Netanyahu instructed his National Security advisor to weigh the possibility of voiding the Oslo peace agreements should the Palestinian Authority succeed in gaining international recognition of an independent state at the United Nations this September.

Also, Tzipi Hotovely, an Israeli member Knesset of Netanyahu’s Likud party, called on the Israeli government to escalate the construction and expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, occupied East Jerusalem, and the occupied Negev. Her statements came during a party meeting on the Israeli housing crisis.

Staying in political news, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, requested a meeting of the Arab League to discuss additional financial aid for the Palestinians. Arab League Secretary General agreed to the meeting, which will take place Tuesday. President Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will join the Deputy Secretary-General of the Arab League, in addressing the delegates. They will appeal to the council to further assist the PA financially.

In related news, a group of former Israeli army officials and diplomats have met with U.S. officials, and told the U.S. National Security Council that Israel’s 1967 borders are defensible and that a peace agreement with the Palestinians must be made soon. Israeli officials have always claimed that Israel can not be sure that its borders will be secured if Palestinians establish a Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

That 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 This report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me Danny Johnes.