Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || 4 m 50s || 4.44 MB ||

Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, for Monday 21st May 2012.

A report on Palestinian poverty in East Jerusalem; a UNOCHA weekly Report on happenings in the West Bank and Gaza in the last week; settler attacks on Palestinians; and news of the expansion of the Ariel settlement. These stories and more stay tuned!

‘Jerusalem Day’ 2012yesterday was the 45th anniversary of the annexation of East Jerusalem. It was marked by ceremonial marches by Israelis in various parts of Jerusalem including the Old City. On the same day the Association for Civil Rights, published a new and disturbing Report on the city’s Palestinians, 38% of the total population of the city, which showed the highest levels of deprivation since the occupation of the city in 1967 with 84% of Palestinian children and 86% of the total population lived below the poverty line. Four reasons were cited: unemployment, the Separation Barrier, the collapse of the education system, and neglect by the Israeli authorities.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated Sunday that he will never accept any peace agreement that ‘divides Jerusalem’, and will never cede any part of Jerusalem, especially the area of the ‘Temple Mount’, where al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are located in occupied East Jerusalem. He added that “Israel without Jerusalem is like a body without heart’. ‘Should the city fall into the hands of others, I doubt we will be able to avoid a religious war’, Netanyahu claimed, ‘Peace among faiths can only be maintained under Israeli sovereignty’. His statements ignore the fact that millions of Palestinians have no access to religious Muslim and Christian holy sites in the occupied city.

The UN OCHA Report for last week stated that 370 Palestinians had been shot during the Nakba demonstrations last week. A total of 1337 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli soldiers this year, that is 69/week, over double last year’s rate. Similarly, 285 structures have been demolished this year, displacing 477 Palestinians, a 25% increase over the same period last year.

Palestinian medical sources reported that two Palestinian were shot and injured by settlers on Saturday evening. The settlers had invaded Aseera Al-Qibliyya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The shootings were captured by B’tselem members on video.

Detainee Mahmoud Kamel As-Sarsak, currently held at the Ramla Prison Hospital, and has been on hunger strike for 63 days and is determined to continue his hunger strike until his release to his family in the Shaboura refugee camp, in Rafah City, Gaza, or he dies. He was taken prisoner in July 2009 at the Erez Terminal while going to take part in a soccer tournament. Israel has held him under administrative detention, without charges, for six months, and renewed this six consecutive times saying that he poses a threat to the Israeli public.

The Palestinian News Network on Thursday reported that Israel has unveiled a project to expand the settlement of ‘Ariel’ in the northern West Bank in two phases at the expense of large areas of Palestinian land in the Governorates of Qalqiliya and Tulkarem. Building is already underway in Salfeet Governate.

And finally the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza issued a statement revealing that 404 patients in Gaza who suffer from kidney failure are facing serious deterioration in their health because of the lack of equipment needed for dialysis, and they appealed for replacement equipment.

And that’s all today from IMEMC News. This was the Monday 21st May 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.