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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday November 23, 2011.
In the news today, pressure is mounting on the Israeli government to release overdue Palestinian tax money and the UN approves a draft resolution on Palestine, these stories and more coming up; so stay tuned.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is under increasing pressure from both the United States and the United Nations to release $200 million in Palestinian tax revenue. The Israeli government has held onto the money since the Palestine was voted in as a full member of UNESCO last month. US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton spoke with Netanyahu demanding release of the funds but Netanyahu rejected the request as the majority of his cabinet is against the move. Israeli Defence minister Ehud Barak has advocated that the money be transferred immediately as the Palestinian authority needs the funds to help pay their security forces.
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon also put a call into Netanyahu asking for not only the release of the funds but to state that settlement activities in the occupied territories and Jerusalem were a violation of International Law and would hinder the resumption of any future peace talks in the region.
In Gaza overnight, a medical convoy from Tunisia has crossed into strip via the Rafah border crossing. Dr. Jalal Ayyad, head of the Tunisian Al Amal (Hope) Society for Social Development, stated that this visit comes in solidarity with the people of Gaza, and to challenge the illegal Israeli siege. The convoy will travel throughout the region delivering medical supplies to several hospitals.
In southern Gaza, Israeli fighter planes fired a missile at a former settlement near Rafah as well as fired upon boats who were fishing in Palestinian Territorial waters. There were no reports of any injuries to the local residents.
The PA announced today that a file, outlining the plight of Palestinian detainees in Israeli custody was ready to be handed to the International Court. The Minister for Detainees, Issa Qaraqe stated that the Israeli Prison Administration is escalating its attacks and violations, and is imposing collective punishment, in addition to depriving the detainees from their basic, internationally guaranteed rights.
In New York yesterday the UN approved a draft resolution on the right of Palestinian people to self-determination. The Ma’an News agency reported that the resolution, presented by Egypt had the support from 166 states in the UN General Assembly’s Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs committee. The resolution states that Palestinians have a right to an independent state and urged all states, agencies and organisations to support and assist the Palestinian people to realise this right.
That’s all for today from the IMEMC News, this was the Wednesday November 23rd daily roundup of news from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We hope you will join us again tomorrow. This was brought to you by Hassam Qassis and myself, Adam Kerry.