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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org for Monday 14th May 2012.
Further demonstrations and possible Israeli movement on the Palestinian hunger-strikers; Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response to Mr Abbas’ letter on peace talks; European-funded projects demolished by the Israel Civil administration ,these stories and more are coming up, stay tuned
One month after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter that it was hoped would inject some movement into frozen peace negotiations, Prime Minister Netanyahu’ response rejected demands to halt Jewish settlement building in the occupied Palestinian Territories. A member of the Palestinian Executive Committee said the Israeli letter ‘did not include clear answers about the central issues which are undermining the resumption of the peace process’. He cited the issues of settlement expansion, and Israel’s refusal to accept Palestinian demands for the creation of a Palestinian state within the pre 1967 Green or armistice lines with minor territorial swaps. He also urged the “quartet” of Middle East peace sponsors (US, EU, UN & Russia) to intervene to get peace efforts back on track.
The hunger strikes by Palestinian detainees may be close to resolution. A deal may include the cancellation of the policy of solitary confinement as well as granting visiting permits for the families of Palestinian prisoners in Gaza together perhaps with the removal of the prohibition of books and writing materials. Sources in the Palestinian Prisoner Association are expecting proposals from the Israel Prison Services this afternoon.
Meanwhile thousands rallied in support of the hunger striking prisoners in six West Bank towns on Friday. Four protesters were wounded, and hundreds more suffered the effects of tear gas and chemical water sprayed by Israeli forces on non-violent prisoner solidarity protests. Non-violent protesters also closed the entrance to one of the largest settlements, Ma’ale Adumin, east of Jerusalem. They also were met by violence from the Israeli military.
And finally the World Health Organisation has urged the Israeli Government to provide immediate and adequate healthcare for hunger strikers including their transfer to civilian hospitals
In further news, it was reported today that a number of international organizations working in the Occupied Palestinian territories have stated that the Israeli military has demolished many of their European-funded development projects. Israel responded that this only happens if the projects are built without permits. These are rarely granted especially if they are projects for water facilities.
EU Foreign Ministers are meeting in Brussels today where they will discuss issues including the demolition of Palestinian homes, forced displacement, and the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in Area C of the West Bank which threaten Palestinian economic development. It is expected that the meeting will criticise the Israeli Government for these various violations.
And that’s all today from IMEMC News. This was the Monday 14th May daily roundup of news from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website at www.imemc.org. Today’s report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and William Temple.