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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday July 17, 2012.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad meets with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and several Palestinian reporters boycott the press conference; these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Jerusalem today without concrete results. The Secretary promised to continue working with Israel to convince them to bolster the Palestinian Authority in coming years, but no agreements are currently in the making. Despite Secretary Clinton’s professed concern for establishing a procedure for peace many doubt the American commitment to Palestine’s future. A source quoted by Ma’an News stated, ‘there is no benefit to meeting with the American administration due to their biased position against the Palestinian people and its leadership’.
In related news, several Palestinian journalists boycotted the press conference held by Secretary Clinton in Jerusalem after Israeli security officers ordered them to undergo a strip search before entering. The reporters stated that they made all needed prior arrangements and obtained all necessary permits to enter the press conference, but the Israeli Internal Security refused to allow them into the hotel unless they agreed to be strip searched. The journalists refused and left the hotel building, Maan News Agency reported. They added that Israel did not require that Israeli and International reporters also be strip-searched and only targeted Palestinian reporters.
Abdul-Nasser An-Najjar, head of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate commented, “We will not be stripped physically, culturally or by any other means. Palestinian reporters believe in freedoms and rights.” He added, “America claims to be the pioneer of freedom, yet allows this racial discrimination to take place.”
Near Nablus today, the Israeli army of occupation destroyed farmland belonging to a Palestinian family in the village of Qasra. The Israeli army destroyed land belonging to Mohammad and Saqer Shahadeh. They razed the fields surrounding about 30 olive trees and then proceeded to uproot the trees.
Also today, Israeli soldiers raided several homes and kidnapped three youngsters in the village of Ya’bud, southwest of Jenin. The youths were Nameq Tareq Abu Bakr, 19, Haidar Amarneh, 22, and Majdi Amarneh, 20. The Israeli raids follow similar military action on Monday. The village of Azoun, east of Qalqilya in the western part of the occupied territories was raided and a child of 16 was arrested. There are currently more than 200 children being held in Israeli military jails in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Families of political prisoners held by the Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip stated that their detained sons declared an open ended hunger strike demanding their release. The Palestine Press News Agency stated that a Fateh movement official in Gaza revealed a few days ago, that there are 71 Fateh members currently imprisoned by Hamas, and demanded their immediate and safe release.
It is worth mentioning that several Hamas officials repeatedly denied the existence of political prisoners in the Gaza Strip, and recently demanded the Fateh-led Authority in the West Bank release all Hamas political prisoners.
And that’s all for today from the IMEMC News; this was the Tuesday July 17th 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.