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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday December 14, 2011
A Jerusalem mosque is attacked by Israeli settlers in a Price Tag operation, and another elected Palestinian legislator is arrested in Ramallah, these stories and more coming up; so stay tuned.
Amnesty International, along with nineteen other human rights organisations, has reported that the number of people displaced due to house demolitions has doubled since 2010.
An estimated 1,000 people have lost their homes, after 500 demolitions of houses, wells and important structures occurred this year alone. In addition to this, 2011 has witnessed an increase of 50% in Settler attacks against Palestinians since 2010, and a 160% increase since 2009.
Since the end of the settlement freeze last year, approval has been given for 4,000 new settlement units in illegally annexed East Jerusalem.
In other news from Jerusalem, late on Tuesday night, a small group of extremist Israeli settlers attempted to burn down a disused mosque just off Jaffa Street.
After failing to break in, they torched sections of the exterior, and spray painted offensive and anti-Muslim slogans, along with the phrase ‘Price Tag’. Price Tag operations are settler groups retaliating against any Israeli government plans which do not support settlement activity, such as the dismantlement of illegal outposts in the West Bank.
The mosque marks the burial site of Akasha Bin Moshin, a 10th century follower of the Prophet Mohammed. The building still contains a minaret, but is currently being used for storage by the city council.
Back in the West Bank, earlier at Wednesday dawn, Israeli soldiers raided the home of Ayman Daraghma, an elected Palestinian Legislator, and member of the Hamas run Change and Reform Bloc.
The arrest occurred in Al Masayef neighbourhood, in the West Bank city of Ramallah at around 2 am. Daraghma has previously spent 20 months in prison, before being released one year ago, and his arrest now brings the total number of elected legislators in Israeli prisons to 24.
Hamas claims that the ongoing arrests against the elected officials aim to obstruct the efforts to maintain the Unity Agreement between Fateh and Hamas.
In other news, Palestinian Medical Sources in the Gaza Strip reported that one resident was seriously wounded on Wednesday morning, after the Israeli army opened fire at him east of Gaza city.
The sources stated that the resident, in his twenties, was shot in the thigh, and he was moved to a nearby hospital for treatment.
That’s all for today from the IMEMC News, this was the Wednesday December 14 daily roundup of news from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We hope you will join us again tomorrow. This was brought to you by Husam Qassis, and me, William Gibson.