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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday June 26, 2012.
The Russian President visits Bethlehem and meets with Palestinian officials, meanwhile, Israeli military demolishes Bedouin sheds, these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
On Tuesday morning Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin to the West Bank city of Bethlehem; the visit was described as “historic”. Several Palestinian officials participated in the special welcome ceremony.
Palestinian and Russian officials held a policy meeting just before Presidents Abbas and Putin met in the historic city.
On Monday, the Palestinian Ambassador to Russia, Fayed Mustafa, stated that the talks will be focused mainly on the current impasse in peace talks and Russian efforts to ensure the resumption of the peace process.
Mr. Mustafa added that a special agreement regarding the Russian Cultural Museum in Jericho will be signed, as well as other economic agreements that will be implemented in the near future.
Also on Tuesday afternoon, a group of Israeli settlers blocked a road that links a number of Palestinian villages to the city of Bethlehem. Eyewitnesses said the settlers were blocking the road at the sight of the Israeli soldiers. Palestinians are usually sentenced three to six months in jail if they are caught blocking roads that Israelis use for any reason.
In other news, Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage issued a press release on Monday revealing that Israeli bulldozers destroyed and demolished historic Islamic sites dating back to the Umayyad, Abbasid and Ottoman eras in occupied Jerusalem.
The Foundation said that Israel’s Archeological Authority has been destroying and burying ancient Islamic sites over the last five years during excavations in al-Boraq, 100 meters west of the al-Aqsa Mosque. Some of the demolished sites are a mosque and a school building dating back to the Umayyad era.
The area is part of the al-Magharba neighborhood, or the Moroccan Quarter in English, that was mostly demolished by Israel on June 11, 1967, after Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Also on Monday afternoon Israeli soldiers demolished several sheds used by Bedouins in Wadi al-Maleh in the northern plains of the West Bank. They confiscated several water tanks used by the residents, in an attempt to force them to relocate and leave the area.
Local sources reported the several Israeli military Caterpillar bulldozers removed tents, sheds and tin houses in the area without allowing the residents to remove their belongings from the sheds, and told them that they should leave the area.
That’s all from IMEMC News. This was the Tuesday June 26 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 me George Rishmawi