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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, for Thursday April 19, 2012.

Israeli troops kidnap two Palestinian children near Hebron, meanwhile senior Israeli military officer who hit a Danish cyclist is only temporarily halted from promotion These stories and more coming up, stay tuned

Following the publication on the internet and in other media of a video showing a senior Israeli military officer severely beating a Danish tourist on a cycling tour of the West Bank, Israeli officials launched a public relations campaign that culminated in a temporary suspension of the officer and a change of post to a desk based role for the next two years.

Lieutenant-Colonel Shalom Eisner, who was on the verge of promotion to Colonel, was shown in the video beating Danish cyclist Andreas Ias with a rifle butt on Saturday near Jericho.

Two other foreign tourists and one Palestinian were also injured by Eisner as he assaulted the cycle tour.

In a statement on Israeli TV Channel 10 on Tuesday, Eisner said that he did not regret his actions, that he acted within military guidelines, and explained his beating of the Danish cyclist as putting an end to what he called a ‘demonstration’ by the group of cyclists on tour in the West Bank.

In the south of the country, Israeli troops kidnapped two 15-year-old Palestinian children from the town of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. Local sources said that Mohammad Alami and Fadi Abu Fanus were handcuffed and blind-folded as they were taken to the nearby Etzion military base. The children were on their way home after taking part in a funeral of an elderly lady in the town.

Residents attempted to free the two children, however the soldiers refused to release them and used concussion grenades to force the residents away from the site. The mother of one of the two children fainted as a result, and was taken to the medical clinic for treatment.

In other news, Israeli settlers have constructed 20 new homes on privately-owned Palestinian land in an illegal outpost known as Ulpana, in Beit El settlement northeast of Ramallah, reported Israeli daily Haaretz on Thursday. The Israeli government continues to fail to act to stop construction and expansion of unauthorised settlements.

The prefabricated and permanent homes were built on lands officially recognized by the State of Israel to be owned by Palestinians, reported Haaretz.

The Israeli army fears that this situation could cause a new crisis in the Israeli cabinet, and lead to confrontation with the settlers similar to that over three other unauthorised outposts also built on private Palestinian lands.

And that’s all for today from IMEMC News. This was the Thursday April 19th daily roundup of news from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website at Today’s report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me Sarah Steele.