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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Thursday February 2nd, 2012.
Ban Ki-Moon meets with Palestinian and Israeli leaders in Jerusalem and Ramallah, and an elderly women is injured after settlers stone her car, these stories and more, coming up, so stay tuned.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, told the visiting United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, that Israel will continue the construction of settlements, and that any chances for a construction freeze would only be possible through direct peace negotiations.
Netanyahu said that Israel will not agree to a settlement freeze as a quote- “precondition for the resumption of peace talks.’-unquote. His statements came during a press conference held on Wednesday afternoon with Ban Ki-moon after the two leaders concluded their meeting. Ban Ki-Moon urged Israel to halt its settlement activities and stated that he informed Netanyahu that settlement construction does not help advance the peace process, and that Tel Aviv must cease the constructions.
On Wednesday evening Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stated during a press conference held in Ramallah with the Ban Ki-Moon that the Palestinian leadership seeks a comprehensive peace agreement with Israel, but will not accept to hold talks while Tel Aviv continues its settlement activities in the occupied territories.
President Abbas said quote- “This peace must be based on the two-state solution, by ending the Israeli occupation in all of the occupied territories, including the Jordan Valley, and East Jerusalem, the capital of our future state.’ –unquote.
In related news, a cabinet resolution approved on Sunday granted various housing benefits to people living in national priority areas, many of which are Settlements. The Israeli cabinet have since amended the resolution to not include seventy settlements, unless specifically approved by the Defence Minister, and is targeted to exclude these settlements from housing benefits granted to national priority building areas.
In other news, Palestinian medical sources reported that a Palestinian woman was seriously injured after a number of fundamentalist Israeli settlers hurled stones at a vehicle on the Yitzhar-Nablus road, in the northern part of the West Bank. Maysar Abdul-Majeed, 60 years old, was in a vehicle driving in the area when the settlers hurled stones at the car, causing an injury to her head. She was moved to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus. Maysar is from Sorra village, west of Nablus city.
Researcher Riyadh Al-Ashqar, specialized in detainees’ affairs stated in a report that Israeli soldiers arrested more than 320 Palestinians in numerous parts of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem during the month of January.
Four elected legislators, 53 children, eight women, and one former detainee, were among the arrested. He added that Israel re-arrested the four elected legislators, including the head of the Legislative Council, Dr. Aziz Dweik, and imprisoned them under Administrative Detention orders- twenty-seven legislators, and three ministers, are currently imprisoned by Israel.
That’s all for today from the IMEMC News, this was the Thursday February 2nd daily roundup of news from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We hope you will join us again tomorrow. This has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me, William Gibson.