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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Monday October 17th, 2011
The Arab League has strongly condemned Israel after they announced the construction of over two and a half thousand new settlement units, and the Teachers of Qurtuba School continue their protest, these stories and more coming up; so stay tuned.
The Arab league has condemned Israel over its settlement expansion announcement, which in their words will “definitely end the vision of a two-state solution, and the possibility of establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”
They of course refer to the location of the new settlements, between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, which will leave a belt of settlements (including Gilo, Har Homa and Psgat Ze’ev) surrounding the area, severing Bethlehem’s tenuous ties to Jerusalem.
The settlement issue is at odds with the work being done by the Middle East Quartet, in its attempts to bring Israel and Palestine to the table.
Despite many announcements by the Quartet regarding future meetings between the two sides, Member of the Executive Committee for the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Dr. Saeb Erekat, stated that no such resumption of talks has been set or agreed to.
Dr. Erekat claims that Israel’s response to the Quartets proposals, is to announce the building of thousands of new settlement homes, and urges the Quartet to move from a phase of speech, to a phase of action. He urges them to condemn the settlements, which are illegal under international law.
In other news, Hamas leaders have arrived in Cairo to welcome the forty exiled detainees. The delegation is lead by Khaled Marshal, the head of the Hamas Political Bureau in Syria, and is accompanied by Mousa Abu Marzouq, the Deputy Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau in Gaza.
Hamas sources have reported that the forty exiled detainees will be hosted by Turkey and Qatar, whilst Syria has also expressed willingness to receive some.
Israel has begun to move prisoners who are set to be realsed in preparation for tomorrow. Prison officers started moving many to Keiziot detention camp, and Ha-Sharon prison. The female detainees, twenty-seven out total of thirty-six, who are currently imprisoned inside Israel, are set to be relased and have also been moved to the Ha-Sharon prison. They are all set to be released within the next 36 hours.
Other detainees are not as fortunate, with many in serious condition as their hunger strike is set to enter its third week. Among those, Ahmad Saadat, the Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has been moved to the Al Ramla prison hospital, after his health took a turn for the worse.
In the West Bank, the Israeli Army has arrested six Palestinians in separate incursions. Three are from the Jericho area, in the village of ‘Uga, two from the Nablus village of Betta, and one man from the village of Tulkarem.
In the southern West Bank city of Hebron, teachers of the Qurtuba school have entered their second week of protest against the decision by the Israeli Military to implement the use of an electronic gate and physical searches, all so the children can reach their school.
The protest continues, despite repeated abuses by soldiers and settlers, and has been joined by International activists and local parents. Although they were dispersed by the army, after they claimed they needed an official paper to protest.
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 William Gibson.