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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for Thursday December 8, 2011.

A prominent Rabbi appeared in court over allegations of sexual abuse of students under his guidance, and Sheppard’s are attacked by armed extremist settlers just outside of Nablus, these stories and more coming up; so stay tuned.

The Palestine News and Info Agency (WAFA) reported Thursday that two Palestinians were killed and several others, including school students, were wounded, when the Israeli Air Force fired a missile at a Palestinian car in Omar Al Mukhtar Street, in Gaza City.

The bodies of the two slain Palestinians were severely mutilated, and were moved to the morgue at a local hospital and they are not identified at the time of this report.

Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that a prominent Zionist Rabbi was sent to the Magistrates Court in Jerusalem, on Wednesday, facing charges of sexual assaults against two students who sought his spiritual support.

Rabbi Elon is regarded to be among the spiritual leaders of religious Zionism, and also served as the head of the Hakotel Yeshiva, a Jewish religious school in Jerusalem.

The rabbi is believed to have committed sexual offenses against two 17-year old male students who went to his office seeking spiritual support.

The Rabbi went to the court on Wednesday accompanied by his wife, seven of his children, and other relatives, and maintains his innocence.

In February of 2010, a rabbinical forum in charge of preventing sexual abuse in Jewish religious school and communities issued a statement accusing Elon with sexual misconduct. Elon was dismissed from his position, investigators submitted a file to the prosecutor’s office last January, and he was indicted in November of this year.

Head of the City Council in Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, has ordered the closure of the historic Al Magharba Gate Bridge in East Jerusalem, under the pretext that the bridge is unsafe.

A month ago, the chief engineer of the Jerusalem Municipality ordered the bridge to be demolished, but Jordan and Egypt intervened and convinced Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to void the decision as such an act could ignite a new wave or violence in Palestine and the Arab world.

Israel tried to coordinate the move to replace the wooden bridge with Jordan and Egypt, but the two countries rejected the idea, and transferred the issue to the Arab League, which in return lodged a campaign against the act to the UNESCO.

A group of extremist Israeli settlers opened fired today at a group of Palestinian shepherds tending their sheep in the eastern hills of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Four armed settlers approached them, near the village of Yanoun, and opened automatic fire at them. The shepherds took shelter from the bullets and no one was harmed in the attack.

That’s all for today from the IMEMC News, this was the Thursday December 8 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 me, William Gibson.