Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || 3 m 40s || 3.35 MB ||

Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, for Thursday January 5, 2012.

A Palestinian dies in a tunnel collapse in the Gaza Strip, and Israel bars some settlers from the West Bank, these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.

Palestinian tax revenues collected by Israel amounting to 150 million shekels ($39 million) will be transferred to Gaza upon their release in the next 24 hours, the head of the Palestinian Monetary Authority said on Thursday.

The cash injection is intended to solve a critical shortage of currency in the blockaded Gaza Strip, PMA Governor Jihad al-Wazir said at an address to business students at the Islamic University in Gaza City.

In the West Bank Israeli forces demolished two homes belonging to Jerusalem families in a village near West Bank city Jericho on Thursday.

Bulldozers accompanied by military patrols tore down the homes in Ein Duyuk, west of Jericho, and also destroyed the electricity connection to the site.

Forces told the owners the houses were built without a permit in Area C, which Israel fully controls under the 1993 Oslo Accords.

In the Gaza Strip, a man was killed and another injured when a tunnel collapsed under the border with Egypt in the southern part of the strip on Thursday morning.

Bilal Shaat, 24, from Khan Younis, died while working in the underground passage near al-Salam neighbourhood in southern Rafah.

An injured colleague was transferred to Abu Yousef al Najar hospital in Rafah for treatment.

Since Israel tightened its blockade on the Gaza Strip in 2007, goods smuggled in from Egypt through underground tunnels have provided a lifeline to the coastal enclave.

In other news, Israel has barred a dozen Jewish settlers from the occupied West Bank for a period of up to one year, a step Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had pledged to take to rein in violence against the Israeli military and the Palestinians.

A statement issued on Thursday by Israel’s military said police ‘delivered administrative restraining orders’ to 12 people described as ‘Jewish extremists’ from the territory.

It said these men were suspected of involvement in violence targeting Palestinians and Israeli forces, and described the orders issued as a ‘preventative measure to remove the threat by the activists in the area.’

One of the men has been barred from the territory for a year, the rest for periods of three to nine months, a military spokeswoman said, and declined to provide further details.

That’s all for today from the IMEMC News, this was the Thursday January 5th 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