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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday July 18, 2012.
Israel announces plans to expand illegal settlements and a Palestinian village enters its 10th day without electricity; these stories and more coming up, stay tuned.
Israel’s defense ministry revealed plans to expand the illegal outpost of Givat Salit, near Tubas in the northern part of the West Bank. There are more than 100 settlements in the West Bank, all of which are illegal under international law. There are a further 150 settlements which the Israeli government refers to as ‘outposts’ which are illegal under Israeli as well as international law. Previous Israeli governments had promised to remove Givat Salit, but now the Defense Ministry has commissioned its expansion with a view to granting it retroactive settlement status.
In other news, a Palestinian village that is completely cut off from the West Bank by the illegal Israeli separation barrier has been without electricity for ten days. Mechanics required to repair the only generator require special permission from the Israeli military. The village of Dhaher al-Malih west of Jenin in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, has had to rely on generators from the Palestinian Authority for power. Ten days ago, their sole remaining generator broke down leaving the isolated villagers without electricity. Attempts by the PA to connect the village to the grid have been rebuffed by Israel, and attempts by the villagers to bring mechanics in to repair the generator have met with a similar response.
In related news, the Israeli army raided Al Qanoub area in Sa’ir, eastern Hebron and issued a demolition order on two cisterns used to irrigate land for the benefit of twenty people, of whom more than half are children. The two cisterns were built with the aid of the Improving Livelihood in the Occupied Palestinian Territories Program funded by the Netherlands Representative Office. Palestinians are rarely issued with planning permission to build on their own land in the occupied territories, while illegal Israeli settlements are free to expand without restriction.
In Gaza, a Palestinian man who was attempting to travel to Jerusalem for medical treatment was detained due to travel restrictions in the third such case this month according to Ma’an news. Jabaliya resident, Rawhi Fouad Kerkz, 43, went to meet Israeli intelligence officials on Sunday at Erez crossing to discuss his permit to travel to the hospital in Jerusalem. Israeli intelligence summoned Kerkez to Erez to review his application despite the fact that his appointment at Al Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem had already passed. He left early on Sunday and later in the evening his family received a call from an Israeli official saying he was being held in Ashkelon jail.
In Jerusalem today, the Israeli Municipality demolished a Palestinian building in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, according to WAFA news. Jawad Siyam, director of Wadi Hilweh information center in Silwan said that the pretext for the demolition was building without a permit. However, the 16-square-meter facility is 100 years old and has been used to house livestock. After demolishing the building, the Israelis then seized the cattle and birds being warehoused there and fined the owner.
Elsewhere, a teenager from a Bethlehem village was seriously injured two days ago when Israeli soldiers beat him during an arrest raid, a lawyer for the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners Affairs told Ma’an News. Mahmoud al-Badan, 17, from Tuqu village said that he was viciously beaten, with sharp objects, blindfolded and handcuffed by Israeli soldiers before taking him into custody Saturday night. His lawyer, Hussein al-Sheikh said he was taken to a nearby health center and later transferred to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital. Doctors there found the teen had bruising to the head and a broken jaw. Israeli forces then brought al-Badan back to prison.
And that’s all for today from the IMEMC News; this was the Wednesday July 18th 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, Jack Muir.