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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, for Wednesday August 10th, 2011.

Gaza experiences a communication black out and former Fatah official is accused of poisoning Yasser Arafat. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

Late Tuesday night, residents throughout Gaza lost internet, cell phone and landline phone service, creating a communication blackout similar to one which occurred just before a massive Israeli invasion in 2008. The blackout sparked fear among Gaza residents that an Israeli invasion might be underway. Just before the communication blackout began, residents of northern Gaza witnessed Israeli armored bulldozers mobilizing along the northern border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. There are no reports of Israeli attacks during the blackout.

In the West Bank, the Israeli army responded to a non-violent protest at Al-Walaja acwith gas and sound bombs. They detained five Israelis and one Palestinian, chasing the protestors from the olive grove into the village. The group of Palestinian, Israeli, and International activists was protesting against illegal wall construction that is destroying the olive fields of Al-Walaja village, near Bethlehem.

The Israeli soldiers fired gas and sound bombs at the protestors. Then the soldiers pursued the protestors when they began to leave, throwing sound bombs at them, according to eye witnesses. They chased them into the village and invaded homes, arresting one Palestinian.

Lastly, an official Fatah report claims that former Gaza security chief, Mohammad Dahlan, was responsible for the poisoning of Yasser Arafat. It also accuses Dahlan of stealing millions of dollars in US aid money.

In June of 2011, Fatah forced him out of the party and several weeks later Palestinian Authority police raided his home. There they seized files, weapons, computers, and arrested several members of his private security force.

That’s all for today, you have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Media Center. For more updates, please visit our website at This report has been brought to you from Occupied Bethlehem by Husam Qassis and me Danny Johnes.