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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, for Wednesday, July 27, 2011.

Israeli troops kidnap peace activists in Bethlehem and demand the villagers of Al-Arakib to pay for the demolition of their homes, these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned

Two Palestinian and four Israeli activists were kidnapped outside Al-Walaja village Wednesday morning while protesting the bulldozing of an olive tree grove. The Israeli army blocked everyone from access to the olive grove which is being uprooted.

Among those kidnapped are Al-Walaja resident Shireen al-Araj and human rights activist Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh. International, Israeli and Palestinian activists have been protesting Israeli attempts to uproot olive trees outside of Al-Walaja village.

Dr. Qumsiyeh told IMEMC over the phone, that troops rushed at him, pushed him on the floor, handcuffed and blindfolded and took him away. He showed no resistance to the arrest.
In occupied East Jerusalem, the Al Aqsa Foundation in Jerusalem published a video showing members of Israeli undercover forces attacking Palestinian children as they played in the allies.

The video clearly shows the vehicle approaching the children and its passengers kidnap Islam Jaber, 13 from Jerusalem. The foundation also said the child was taken to a nearby graveyard where he was beaten by the soldiers.

In a separate incident, another special force of the Israeli army attacked the Freedom Theatre in the West Bank city of Jenin early Wednesday morning. Masked soldiers threw stone blocks at windows, kidnapped several staff, and threatened others at gunpoint.

Adnan Naghnaghiye, the location manager, and Bilal Saadi, a member of the board, were both kidnapped by the Israeli soldiers and were taken to unknown location.

When Jacob Gough, the general manager, and Jonatan Stanczak, the co-founder of the theatre, arrived they were forced at gun point to squat on the ground with a family, who had among them four children.

Stanczak stated, “Whenever we tried to tell them that they are attacking a cultural venue and arresting members of the theatre we were told to shut up and they threatened to kick us, I tried to contact the civil administration of the army to clarify the matter but the person in charge hung up on me.“

Last April, Juliano Mer-Khamis, General Director of the Freedom Theatre was murdered by unidentified assailants.

In other news, Israel has filed suit against 34 bedouins near Al-Arakib for costs incurred while repeatedly demolishing their homes. The state is seeking an unprecedented $530.000 from the group.

The Israeli Land Administration (ILA) claims that the Bedouins repeatedly built homes on the state-owned land despite having houses some distance away, Haaretz News reports. The ILA, who defined the people of Al-Arakib as squatters, claims the land was leased to the Bedouins until 1998, however the state took action to evict the residents starting in 1999.

Israeli authorities have demolished the houses of the Al-Arakib villagers for more than 20 times, and the villagers continue to rebuild them.

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 George Rishmawi