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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday August 7, 2012.
Questions continue regarding the attacks in Sinai over the weekend, and the Israeli military detains seven in raids in the northern West Bank; these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt stated that Sunday’s attack against an Egyptian military base in the Sinai, “could be attributed to the Israeli Mossad”, adding that this attack aimed to foil efforts of newly-elected Islamist President Mohammad Morsi. In an online statement, the Brotherhood said that Israel is trying to foil the achievements of the Egyptian revolution that removed former President Hosni Mubarak from power. The Brotherhood added, “this attack pushes all related sides into reconsidering the articles of the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement.”
Meanwhile in Gaza, Senior Hamas official, Ahmad Yousef, demanded the Hamas-led government there closely monitor all activities of Salafist Islamic groups in order to prevent Israel from infiltrating them through its collaborators. He added that such an infiltration pushes these groups to carry out attacks similar to the deadly attack against Egyptian soldiers in Sinai Sunday. Yousef stated that such attacks are aimed at sabotaging the relations between the Hamas movement and the newly elected Egyptian government, in addition to sabotaging the security situation in the coastal region.
On the political front, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced plans to release political prisoners in exchange for the Palestinian Authority dropping its upcoming bid for statehood recognition at the United Nations. Up to 50 prisoners would be involved in the prospective exchange. In addition to the release of prisoners, Netanyahu offered to return to the peace negotiations that he walked away from nearly two years ago. The decision by Netanyahu to offer prisoner release is important on several levels. No state would release actual terrorists as doing so would combine negotiating with terrorists, caving to the demands of terrorism, and undermining the safety of the country and its people. Many of the thousands of Palestinians currently detained in Israeli prisons have been implicitly linked to terrorism. Their release would be an admission by the Israeli government that the prisoners it holds in indefinite detention do not present a real threat to Israeli safety and are instead ‘political prisoners’ – something expressly forbidden by international human rights law.
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Israeli occupation forces detained seven Palestinians in raids in and around Qalqilya in the northern West Bank. The Israeli army detained three people from Qalqiliya, three from Kafr Qaddum, east of Qalqilya, and one person from Salfit. At least one of those arrested was a child, aged 17, Qusayy Marwan Aqil of Kafr Qaddum. Multiple agencies reported that local youths threw rocks at Israeli soldiers during the raids and that soldiers responded with “riot dispersal means.”
And finally, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, the Mufti of Jerusalem, spoke about Israeli plans to divide al-Aqsa mosque in order to provide Jews with access to the Muslim holy site. The plan is modeled after the division of the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron, and Sheikh Hussein said in a press release that the escalation of the rhetoric out of Israel relating to al-Aqsa is serious and the Judaization of Jerusalem and erasure of Palestinian history in the ancient city must be stopped.
And that’s all for today from IMEMC News; this was the Tuesday August 7th 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.