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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for Tuesday August 23, 2011.

Israeli cabinet refrains from carrying out a wide-scale military operation in Gaza and the Israeli high court rules against the people of Al-Walaja, these stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

Israeli high court rejected an appeal by the residents of Al-Walaja village near Bethlehem to stop building the wall on the villagers lands.

The court gave green light to the Israeli military to continue constructing that wall which will expropriate thousands of acres from the village.

The ruling was based on the assumption that the damage caused by the wall to the Palestinians is reasonable if compared with the security achievements the wall will provide.

The villagers of Al-Walaja have been resisting the wall on the ground by weekly nonviolent protests usually joined by international and Israeli supporters.

Lawyer Farid Al-Atrash, head of the Independent Commission for Human Rights in Bethlehem said he was not expecting a better ruling from an Israeli court, describing it as discriminatory.

In internal news, the Presidential decree to postpone the local elections scheduled for October was met by wide condemnation by Palestinians. The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree on Monday delaying the elections until further notice.

The local governments elections were originally scheduled in 2010, however the Palestinian cabinet headed by Dr. Salam Fayyad canceled the elections on the deadline of submitting the candidates names and lists.

Another cabinet decision assigned the elections for July 2011, then delayed again until october. The government said it is not a national interest to have elections while Hamas and Fatah are still in disagreement.

In other news, the Israeli cabinet voted in majority against conducting a large-scale military offensive against the Gaza Strip, and decided to indirectly maintain the truce declared by the Hamas movement in Gaza on Sunday.

Israeli media sources said that the cabinet is concerned of International isolation and condemnation, and is afraid of further deterioration in the diplomatic relations with Egypt.

Israel escalated attacks on the Gaza Strip following the deadly coordinated attack carried out by armed men on Thursday which claimed the lives of 8 Israelis and 8 of the fighters.

15 Palestinians including three children were killed in the series of Israeli airstrikes against the Gaza Strip.

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 George Rishmawi