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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Monday August 6, 2012.

Fifteen Egyptian soldiers are killed by gunmen in the Sinai Sunday night, while power outages continue to plague Gaza; these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.

At least 15 Egyptian soldiers were killed, on Sunday evening, while several others were wounded, when gunmen attacked an Egyptian military base in Sinai. The Israeli army also killed seven gunmen, allegedly Palestinian, who reportedly hijacked a military vehicle from the Egyptian military base and attempted to drive through the Karem Abu Salem Israeli crossing. The attack took place south of the Rafah and Karem Abu Salem crossings. Both crossings are now closed until further notice.

Egyptian military sources reported that “a major terrorist attack targeted an Egyptian military base”, and that “Jihadist groups, driving vehicles equipped with automatic weapons and RPG launchers, attacked the base, and managed to kidnap a number of Egyptian soldiers.”

The sources added that four gunmen were killed when their hijacked armored vehicle exploded, while three more gunmen were killed when a missile fired from an Israeli fighter jet struck their vehicle. The army sealed the area and scanned it searching for gunmen.

However, Lieutenant Safwat az-Zayyat of the Egyptian army, denied reports claiming that the attack was carried out by jihadist groups, and said that “the escalation on the border was planned by Israel in order to cause rift between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, and to destabilize the situation in Egypt”.

The Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip denounced the attack against the Egyptian military base describing it as an “ugly and cowardly criminal attack.”

In Gaza, people continue to suffer from rolling blackouts as its lone power plant is unable to meet the demands of residents and the Israeli occupation blocks access to help. Current supplies of electricity only meet about two-thirds of the demand within Gaza, thus blackouts of between 6-18 hours a day have been necessary, some planned, and some random and unscheduled.

Humanitarian agencies and countries in the region have attempted to alleviate the suffering of the people of Gaza, but the blockade continues to hamper efforts to do so. The Israeli blockade of Gaza, in effect since 2006, has meant water, fuel, and electricity shortages, in addition to the lack of access to medical care and basic necessities.

In Hebron today, The Israeli army arrested 14-year-old and 13-year-old brothers in the old city. The boys’ parents said that Israeli Occupation Forces detained their two children near the Ibrahimi mosque at Abu al-Rish checkpoint and took them to an unknown location. The Israeli military arrests 700 Palestinian children every year and there are currently an estimated 280 Palestinian children in Israeli military prisons in contravention of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Israel is a signatory.

And finally today, Israeli Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman signed a regulation that effectively limits the ability of Palestinians and immigrants from filing suit in Israeli courts by requiring anyone filing a claim in Israeli courts to provide their Israeli ID number or foreign passport number. Palestinians from the Occupied Territories, who often do not have passports regularly file lawsuits in Israeli courts against Israeli occupation soldiers for misconduct and damages, which would be affected by this regulation. It would also hamper the ability of Palestinians from the Occupied Territories or migrants from other countries without passports from filing suit in labor courts against unscrupulous employers, from recovering damages if injured in a car accident, or even from filing appeals against the Israeli Interior Ministry if it decided to deport them.

And that’s all for today from IMEMC News; this was the Monday August 6th daily news round-up 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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