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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org for Monday 28th May 2012.
A statement by the Turkish Foreign Minister; flights by Palestinian Airlines cut journey times for Gazans; and more stay tuned!
In international news, Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmad Davutoglu, stated Sunday at the 21st Istanbul International Congress of Muslim Communities that there can be no peace and stability in the Middle East without a fair solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict that ensures the legitimate rights of the Palestinian People. Davutoglu further stated that a US veto against Palestine’s Membership at the United Nations is considered an attempt to prevent peace from prevailing in the region.
The World Health Organization (WHO) adopted a resolution submitted by Arab member countries condemning the Israeli siege on Gaza, and calling for ending it and lifting all restrictions on Gaza border terminals. The World Health Organization called for improved health conditions in Gaza, especially for ailing children, in addition to improving the health conditions of Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel.
In Gaza it was reported today that, pending a meeting to resolve the issue, youth activists have suspended their demonstrations against the UN International Childrens Emergency Fund (UNICEF) which reportedly placed contracts with Israeli companies for reconstructing water facilities destroyed by Israel’s ‘Cast Lead’ attack on Gaza 3 years ago, as publicised last Thursday by the Palestinian Contractors Union. The young activists confirmed that they are waiting for the results of a meeting with UNICEF being held by various national bodies such as the Palestinian Contractors Union, the Water Authority and others.
Palestinian Airlines On Sunday carried 27 passengers on a flight between El-Arish in Egypt and Marka Airbase in Amman, Jordan, with 44 booked on the return flight later in the day, the first flights for 7 years. The new route means Gazans no longer have to travel to Cairo, some 350 kilometers away, to board planes. Palestine Airlines, which is wholly owned by the Palestinian Authority, was established in 1995 and started operations in June 1997 with the original intention of operating from Gaza. The airline was, however, grounded at the start of the 2nd Intifada in 2000 and was forced to move it’s base to El-Arish Airport in Egypt following the destruction of the EU-funded airport in Gaza by Israel.
Mahmoud al-Sarsak, a 25-year-old soccer player from Gaza who played for Palestine’s national team, has been on hunger strike since March 19 in protest at his detention without charge. He was detained in July 2009 while leaving the Gaza Strip to join his team in the West Bank He was interrogated for 30 days in Ashkelon prison. After Israeli intelligence failed to file any charge against him, he was detained under the ‘unlawful combatant law,’ the ministry said in a statement. This a more severe form of Administrative Detention.
On Sunday evening, Israeli soldiers kidnapped four Palestinian children ages 14 to 16 in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in occupied East Jerusalem, and took them to a local interrogation facility. Israeli soldiers and policemen repeatedly kidnap Palestinian children in occupied East Jerusalem, and interrogate and intimidate them without allowing their parents or their lawyers to be present during interrogation. For example, earlier this month, 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 and kidnapped a 12-year-old child, also in Silwan.
Also on Sunday Israel’s high court rejected an appeal to end the administrative detention of Palestinian MP Hussam Khader. Khader has been detained without charge or trial since June 2011. He was due to be released on June 1 but an Israeli military commander extended his detention by six months
And that’s all today from IMEMC News. This was the Monday 28th 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.