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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday September 27, 2011.
Israel approves the construction of new settlement units in the West Bank and Israeli settlers demand to annex all West Bank settlements to Israel, these stories and more are coming up, stay tuned.
As the United Nations Security Council is studying the Palestinian request for full UN membership, the Israeli Authorities approve the construction of 1100 new settlement units in an East Jerusalem settlement.
The new units will be built near the illegal settlement of Gilo built on the lands of Beit Safafa and Beit Jala.
Nabil Abu Rdeinah, Spokesman of the Palestinian President condemned the Israeli decision, and described it as a unilateral step, and said that Israel continues to put obstacles in front of peace efforts.
The Israeli decision comes shortly after a number of Israeli right wing Knesset members sent a letter to the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu demanding him to annex the settlements in the West Bank to Israel.
The legislators demanded Netanyahu to sanction the Palestinian Authority by not releasing the tax revenue money Israel dues to channel every month, which reaches up to $55 million dollars a month.
In their letter, the legislators wrote, ‘The international damage that Israel could suffer in the wake of the UN vote is significantly smaller than that it would suffer if it doesn’t follow up on the principle you set a decade ago – ‘If they give, they’ll get; if they don’t give, they get nothing.’
There are 450 thousand settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem who live on around 50 percent of the West Bank.
Dr. Marwan Tubasi, governor of Tubas district in the Jordan Valley said on Tuesday that in the Jordan Valley alone, there are around 1000 settlers who consume one third of the amount of water that 2.5 million Palestinians consume in the entire West Bank.
Tubasi said, “Israel is practicing an apartheid policy against the Palestinians in the distribution of water which aims at evacuating the land from its indigenous native Palestinians.”
He added that in the past 34 years Israel drilled a huge number of water wells in settlement areas, many of them are deep which affected the existing water wells in the Palestinian inhabited areas, which caused many of them to dry out. He added that the number of wells dropped from 209 to 89.
In the other news three Palestinians were confirmed dead on Tuesday in a tunnel in the southern part of the Gaza Strip when Egyptian forces flooded the tunnel with wastewater on Sunday in an attempt to stop the trafficking of items.
The victims were identified as workers and were named as Fadi Ash-Shaer, 20, Firas Ahmad, 18, and Anwar Abu Aradeh, 25, all residents of as-Salam neighbourhood in Rafah.
That was just some of the news from Palestine Today, for more updates; please visit our website at www.imemc.org. Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem. This report has been brought to you by Hussam Qassis and me, George Rishmawi.