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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, for Wednesday May 2, 2012

Palestinian prisoners enter their third week of hunger strike, and Israeli military demands farmers remove 1400 olive trees in Wadi Qana, Salfeet district, these stories and more coming up stay tuned

Over two thousand Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and detention centers began their third week of hunger strike on Tuesday, along with seven men and one woman who have been on hunger strike for over thirty days. Two of the hunger strikers, Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh, marked their 63rd day on hunger strike on Tuesday, and both are near death according to human rights groups. The hunger strikers are demanding an end to the Israeli practice of ‘administrative detention’, in which Palestinians are held without charges for months and years at a time. They are also calling on Israel to end the use of ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques, to stop using solitary confinement as a form of punishment, and to provide proper medical treatment for prisoners.

Palestinian medical sources reported on Tuesday that Israeli soldiers attacked non-violent protesters near the Ofer Israeli military prison. The protesters were expressing solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike in different Israeli prisons and detention facilities.

In the West Bank, Palestinian villagers of Deir Istya, near the city of Salfit, along with International and Israeli supporters foiled an attempt by the Israeli military and settlers to uproot 1400 olive trees planted on their own land in Wadi Qana.
Local sources from the village confirmed that a large number of Israeli settlers accompanied by Israeli troops arrived at Wadi Qana on Tuesday but after a tense standoff they left with the trees still standing.

On 25 April the Israeli Army demanded that farmers in Deir Istiya village remove 1400 of their own olive trees in Wadi Qana by 1 May.

In other news, the Israeli military kidnapped two Palestinian children in Jerusalem on Wednesday at dawn. Palestinian media sources reported that undercover forces of the Israeli army kidnapped two children, ages 14 and 10, in Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem. The source added that the undercover forces kidnapped another 12-year-old child in Silwan on Tuesday.

In the meantime, the Jerusalem City Council has decided to demolish seven buildings in the Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, as part of its plan to build the ‘King David Park’ in this Palestinian area.
At dawn on Wednesday, Israeli soldiers invaded several towns near the northern West Bank city of Jenin and fired rounds of live ammunition into the air before breaking into and searching several homes. Several invasions in other parts of the West Bank also occurred.

And that’s all for today from IMEMC News. This was Wednesday May 2nd 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 William Temple.