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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Monday July 16, 2012

A human rights investigation team arrives in the Gaza Strip, meanwhile the Palestinian Authority to receive $100 dollars in direct aide from Saudi Arabia, these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.

An 11-member team from the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner’s office arrived in Gaza to investigate human rights abuses in the Palestinian enclave. The siege of Gaza is now in its fifth year and all supplies of medicine, water and fuel are strictly limited by Israel.

In other news from Gaza, the Nelson Mandela Foundation for Political Prisoners has urged the UN to investigate human rights violations in Israeli jails. Israel routinely transfers prisoners from the occupied territories to jails inside Israel, a practice which violates the Fourth Geneva Convention. In a concession won by prisoners on hunger strike, Israel allowed prisoner visits to 25 inmates from Gaza. There are currently 1,200 Palestinian families unable to visit relatives held by Israel.

In Tiqua , near Bethlehem in the southern West Bank, Israeli soldiers assaulted and abused Mahmoud Al-Badan, 17, after breaking into his home. They then kidnapped him before driving away to an undisclosed location. Mohammed, the child’s father reported that the soldiers violently searched the property before taking Mahmoud outside. They then started punching, kicking and hitting him in front of their home.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, the Israeli military said that a UN agency’s humanitarian aid to displaced Palestinians is actually illegal. . Human rights workers state that providing temporary tents to families whose homes have been demolished, falls under universally accepted international definitions of emergency humanitarian assistance and is not a building project that would require a permit.

In Political news, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Tel Aviv today to meet with the Israeli leadership. The talks are expected to focus on Iran, Egypt and the stalled peace talks with Palestinians.

In a bid to ease the current financial crisis facing the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Finance Minister, Ibrahim Al-Assaf, informed Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, that King Abdullah ordered the transfer of $100 Million to help alleviate the financial crisis in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel and the US have imposed financial sanctions on the PA due to recent bids for recognition with UN organizations.

The Palestinian Authority was able to pay only 60% of June’s Salary to around 160 thousand civil servants.

A source at the Palestinian Ministry of Finance said the remainder of the due salaries will be paid as soon as the Saudi grant is wired. According to the Minister of Finance Dr. Nabil Qassis said this is the hardest financial crisis the PA is facing since the 2006 crisis, when donor countries stopped aide to the PA after Hamas took over the elections and formed the government.

And that all for today from the IMEMC News; this was the Monday July 16th 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.

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