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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, for Wednesday May 3rd, 2012

The major news today is Israel’s Decision to Close, without any prosecutions, the Samouni Case which arose from the killing of 27 civilians during Israel’s attack on Gaza. This story and more coming up—stay tuned.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) unreservedly condemned the Israeli Military Attorney General’s decision to close the case of the Samouni family without initiating any prosecutions in a press release today. PCHR continued that this closure makes a mockery of victims’ rights and International Law.

This incident, which took place over a number of days, was one of the most horrific single events in Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip which took place 27th December 2008 – 18th January 2009. The Samouni case involved numerous well-documented allegations of war crimes, including the willful killing of 27 civilians, the direct targeting of civilians and civilian objects resulting in the injury of 35 civilians, and the denial of medical care for the wounded.

PCHR believes that this incident emphatically underlines the flaws inherent in Israel’s investigative system, which have been documented in detail elsewhere and endorsed by the UN Committee of Experts. Simply put, this system comprehensively fails to meet international standards. PCHR notes that this reality, which makes a mockery of international law, would be impossible without the complete political and legal immunity extended to Israel by the international community.

In other news, The Palestine News Network reported that Israeli soldiers and bulldozers moved into the Almkhrour area of Beit Jala near the West Bank city of Bethlehem in the early morning and demolished a family restaurant and an old house, both the property of the Qasieh family. A temporary roadblock was set up to keep Palestinians away.

Demolition by the Israeli Army on 1st May of a farm building and a large barn housing facilities worth $8000 for keeping a large herd of cows in Al Khalil was reported by the Hebron Christian Peacemaker Team. The farmer said “Destroying my home…I can rebuild and while I am rebuilding I can stay with another family member but destroying my farm it’s not only destroying my livelihood but also the livelihoods of three other families; our farm is our bread and butter.” He was looking at his one hundred cows, who were lying in the oppressive heat. The farmer said that if they were not milked soon, they would die.
A missing Israeli soldier was found dead Thursday morning near a Mall with his weapon beside him. The soldier, who was in the regular army, had left his home in the settlement of Beit Shemesh, near Jerusalem, early on Tuesday morning with his weapon. The Israeli Army had been searching for him since then.

And that’s all for today from IMEMC News. This was Thursday May 3nd 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 William Temple.