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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday 15 May 2012
Demonstrations on Nakba Day; Palestinian detainees Tha’er Halahla and Bilal Thiab sign an agreement with the Israeli Prison Authorities to end their 79 day hunger-strike in exchange for their release; and Israel allows export of clothes from Gaza for the first time in 5 years. These stories and more coming up stay tuned.
Mass rallies were held in towns and cities over Palestine to commemorate the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and the destruction of 430 towns and villages during the founding of the state of Israel in 1948.
After a rally in Ramallah’s clock square, protesters headed to Israel’s Ofer Detention Center and the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem. Medics said 63 Palestinians were injured outside Ofer prison and 21 were hurt at Qalandiya as Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.
In Gaza City, thousands of demonstrators from all factions headed to UN Headquarters carrying Palestinian flags. Senior Fatah and Hamas figures told protesters the right of refugees to return will not be forgotten or bargained for because it is a right for all Palestinians.
On December 11, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly issued resolution number 194 calling for the Right of Return of all refugees and the compensation of the refugees for their losses and for their “economic and social rehabilitation.”
In other major news, Palestinian detainees Tha’er Halahla and Bilal Thiab signed an agreement with the Israeli Prison Authorities to end their 79 day hunger-strike in exchange for their release in June and August respectively as they are being held under administrative detention without charges. Thiab said that he grants this victory to the Palestinian People. He further stated that negotiations are still being held at the Ramla Prison to conclude all files of hunger-striking detainees.
And after a meeting on Monday, EU Foreign Ministers strongly criticised Israel’s activities in the West Bank . ‘The EU expresses deep concern about developments on the ground, which threaten to make a two-state solution impossible,’ EU foreign ministers said. The bloc also criticized what it said were worsening conditions for the Palestinians living in Area C — the 60 percent of the West Bank which is under Israeli control and where most Jewish settlements are located.
And finally a truck carrying 2,000 mainly woolen garments for export through the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing towards an Israeli seaport en route to Britain, the first such export in 5 years. Gaza’s Ashour knitwear company, which was rebuilt with UK aid after it closed in 2007, will export the goods to a clothes outlet in the UK.
And that’s all for today from IMEMC News. This was Tuesday 15th May dail;y round up of news from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website www.imemc.org. Today’s report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and William Temple.