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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, for Wednesday 31st May 2012.

A call for Human Rights organisations to intervene immediately to prevent Israeli attacks on fisherman working off the coast of Gaza; Israeli Defense Minister suggesting Israel will make unilateral moves to solve the issue of Palestinian statehood; and Israel has made available the bodies of 91 Palestinians buried in so-called numbers graveyards. This and more stay tuned!

Every few days, Palestinian fishermen working off the coast of Gaza are attacked and arrested and their boats and equipment confiscated by the Israeli military. Israel already limits them to working within 3 nautical miles of the coast rather than the 20 nautical miles specified in the Oslo Accords. Now the General Union of Palestinian Workers in Gaza has demanded that human rights organizations intervene immediately to stop these attacks.

Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, suggested, Wednesday, that Israel might consider a “unilateral move” for establishing a Palestinian state with temporary borders should negotiations between Israel and Palestine remain at a standstill. Nabil Abu Rodeina, the Palestinian presidential spokesman, said this would be unacceptable and would lead to the continuation of the actual problem, which is the occupation, and put a stop to a Palestinian state rather than finding a final and comprehensive solution to the conflict. However Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, emphasized that Barak’s remarks should be taken very seriously. He said that such statements reflect the truth that Israel’s intention is to destroy the possibility of a Palestinian state, and to divide the Palestinian territories into smaller, isolated ghettos, on less than 40% of the West Bank, without Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. In other words the intention is for Israel to retain Area C. And this is while Israel is refusing to hold talks on final-status issues, borders, the Right of Return of Palestinian refugees, Jerusalem and other fundamental issues, and insists on constructing and expanding its illegal colonies in the occupied territories.

Former political prisoner, Zoheir Lubbada, 38, died today in the National Government Hospital in Nablus, one week after he was released from an Israeli prison. He was suffering numerous health complications due to medical negligence in prison clinics. He was unconscious when he was released by Israel, and remained in a critical condition until he died today. Lubbada was repeatedly kidnapped and imprisoned by Israel, spending more than 14 accumulated years behind bars.

For many years Israel has buried the remains of fallen Palestinian, Lebanese and Arab fighters as well as detainees who died in Israel prisons in graveyards it calls “The Numbers Graveyard”. Each body buried in these graveyards is nameless but was given a unique number that corresponds to a security file in Israeli military databases. Israel has never disclosed the exact locations of these graveyards, nor how many “numbers graveyards” it has. At last the remains of 12 Palestinians are on their way to the Gaza Strip, while the remains of 79 Palestinians were handed to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Minister of Civil Affairs, Hussein Ash-Sheikh, stated that the first phase of receiving the remains has officially been concluded. The remains will all be examined, including by DNA analysis, in order to officially identify them before handing them to their families. An official ceremony honouring the fallen Palestinians will be held. Israel will be handing over the remains of dozens of other fighters at a later stage.

An Jewish-Israeli citizen of Ethiopian origin was injured, on Wednesday evening, after being attacked by Israeli fundamentalists during a protest against African immigrants which called for their expulsion from Israel. The extremist protesters later said “they did not know he was Jewish”.

And that’s all today from IMEMC News. This was the Wednesday 31st 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.