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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday, July 11, 2012.
Israel plans to begin deportations of Internationals living in the West Bank and the Palestinian Authority calls for elections in October. These stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
Israeli Ynet News reported that the Israeli Central Command Chief, Nitzan Alon, signed an order granting the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority “the right” to search for, and arrest, internationals illegally living in the occupied West Bank, in order to deport them.” He said that there were a “large number of infiltrators currently residing in the West Bank” without a permit from Israel and said that they must all be sent back to their countries.
Internationals living in the occupied West Bank cannot renew their visas due to the fact that the Palestinian Authority cannot issue such visas, and Israel refuses to grant them visas due to the fact that they live in Palestinian areas. This policy also affects Internationals who are married to Palestinians since Israel refuses to grant family reunification documents.
In other news, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, led by Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas, has called on Tuesday for fresh elections to be held on October 20th, yet Hamas has rejected this ‘unilateral’ action.
Agence France Presse reported that a local official had spoken with them under conditions of anonymity stating that local, municipal and district elections would be held. Prior attempts at holding similar such elections have failed to materialize with the most recent attempts coming in July and October of 2011.
Following the release of the AFP report, Reuters released an article quoting Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. He criticized the P.A. for taking a ‘unilateral step’, and leveled charges of ‘undermining reconciliation.”
Last week Hamas suspended voter registration and the P.A. have stated that as a result elections may only take place in the West Bank, returning to the political division overshadowing Palestinian politics since 2007. Hamas have said that voter registration was suspended following the continued detention of Hamas party members in the West Bank by P.A. security forces.
In Hebron, Ma’an news reported that a French citizen was injured when the Israeli military fired tear gas canisters and sound grenades into the Al-Laban market in the Old City. Israeli forces then closed all entrances to the old city where 800 Israeli settlers and 30,000 Palestinians live.
And finally, Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights reported that Israeli soldiers shot and killed 15 Palestinians during the latest escalation against the Gaza Strip in June, including three children. At least 75 residents, including 16 children and 5 women, were wounded.
It added that Israeli strikes and bombardment against the civilian population led to the complete destruction of five homes and caused damage to 51 homes, in addition to 11,200 square meters of agricultural lands, agricultural water-wells, and several farms and factories in addition to several other civilian structures.
As for attacks against Palestinian fishermen, the center said that the army continued to prevent them from fishing in Palestinian territorial waters, and continued to limit their fishing zone to only 3 nautical miles.
And that’s all for today from the IMEMC News; this was the Wednesday July 11 daily news roundup 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, Kelly Joiner.