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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Monday November 28, 2011.
In the news today, the Palestinian Authority has revealed that they will run out of funds by next month and ‘Boycott Israel’ demonstrations have taken place in Europe over the weekend, these stories and more coming up; so stay tuned.
Over the weekend, the PA announced that they will be unable to pay salaries to its civil servants and pensions to the elderly and disabled next month. One-third of the Palestinian population receives some form of compensation from the Palestinian Authority. These include civil servants, municipal employees, pensions for the elderly and disabled, and salaries for schoolteachers, medical doctors and bus drivers, among others.
In addition to criticism among Palestinians, many Israelis have also challenged the move by the Israeli government, arguing that the tax funds support the Palestinian security forces, which have been successful in quelling Palestinian violence against Israelis in recent years.
Israeli deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon has announced that his government is considering making further cuts to the electricity and water supply to the Gaza strip. This is in response to the agreement last week between Hamas and Fatah, a move the Israeli government has condemned. They claim that the Hamas party is a terrorist entity, and any government including the Hamas party would be a ‘terrorist government’.
Despite recent easing of certain restrictions, Palestinians in Gaza still lack basic foodstuffs and medicine, and have for the last four years lived on rationed electricity of eight hours a day, with rolling blackouts for the remaining 16 hours each day.
A further 119 housing units have been approved by the Israeli Housing Ministry to be built in the settlement if Shilo, just north of Ramallah. Should the construction plans be implemented, the settlement will witness expansion of over 60%.
Over in Europe, demonstrations have occurred in ten countries urging consumers to boycott food products made in Israeli settlements. Under the banner ‘Take Apartheid off the Menu’, campaigners in Belgium, Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden picketed supermarkets, calling on consumers to boycott products from Israeli agricultural export companies and on supermarkets to stop selling them.
The actions took place as part of the rapidly emerging Palestinian-led movement for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law.
Finally today, Real Madrid Football star, Cristano Ronaldo has donated a pair of his football boots to the Palestinian Kids Foundation. The boots fetched € 2,400 at auction with the proceeds going to help construct a children’s school in Gaza. This isn’t the first time Ronaldo has shown his support for the occupied territory. In the past, Ronaldo has been photographed wearing the Palestinian scarf the kufiyyeh, as support for the Palestinian cause.
That’s all for today from the IMEMC News, this was the Monday November 28th daily roundup of news from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We hope you will join us again tomorrow. This was brought to you by Hasam Qassis and myself, Adam Kerry.