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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org for Tuesday January 3rd, 2012
While Palestinians and Israelis meet in Jordan in bid to revive peace talks, Israel is planning to expand its settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned against the failure of the recent attempts to renew peace talks. He said the success of the new talks depends on Israel’s acceptance of the Palestinian terms, to freeze all settlement activities and to recognize the two-state solution. If Israel fails to accommodate such terms by January 26, the Palestinian Authority will have to take some hard measures.
By January 26, the three months set by the International Quartet committee to revive peace talks will end. Abbas refrained from mentioning what the measures could be, however, he said the PA is not ready for that yet.
The Palestinian President’s statement came after the meeting that joined senior Palestinian and Israeli officials in the Jordanian capitol, Amman on Tuesday.
On their part, a number of Palestinian political factions slammed the meeting, saying it will weaken the position of the Palestinian Authority and will serve Israel’s policies. The Palestinian Authority has said repeatedly it will not hold meetings with Israeli officials until clear standards and goals are set for these meetings or talks.
Meanwhile, Chief Palestinian negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, stated that the meeting does not mean resuming peace talks with Tel Aviv.
Erekat added that the Palestinian stance is clear regarding refusing to resume peace talks with Israel until it halts its violations and settlement activities.
He also stated that the P.A. accepted an invitation from Jordan’s king, Abdullah II, to meet with Israeli delegates and with representatives of the Quartet Committee.
In other news, Israeli troops kidnaped a Palestinian young woman near Qalqilia Tuesday mornning. Palestinian media sources said, Maha Barham, 19 from the village of Kufur Qaddoum east of Qalqilia was detained and kidnapped at the northern entrance of Qalqilia.
Eyewitnesses said the woman was seen handcuffed and put in an army vehicle and was taken to unknown destination.
The sources said Barham was detained on her way back from Israeli jail where she was visiting her sister.
Her family, demanded the Palestinian ministry of prisoners’ affairs and Human Rights organizations to intervene to know their daughters whereabouts and to push for her immediate release.
The Civic Coalition for Defending Palestinian’s Rights in Jerusalem revealed Tuesday information from Israeli newspapers about Israeli plans to expand settlements in East Jerusalem. The coalition said in a statement published Tuesday that Israel is planning to build 117 settlement units in Har Homa settlement, illegally built on the Abu Ghneim hill, south of Jerusalem.
In addition, Israeli Authorities are planning to expand Har Adar settlement built on lands that belong to villagers from Qatanna an Biddu North West of Jerusalem, and 213 settlement units in five locations in the Efrat settlement south of Bethlehem, in addition to a number of settlement units in Giv’at Hazayt in the center of Jerusalem.
That’s all for today from the IMEMC News, this was the Thursday January 3rd 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, George Rishmawi