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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday August 8, 2012.
Egypt responds to Sunday’s attacks with force and Palestinian hunger strikers are abused by Israeli soldiers; these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
At least twenty people, members of extremist groups, were killed when Egyptian Apache helicopters bombarded areas in Al-Arish and in Sinai where armed extremists are believed to be based. Egyptian Apache helicopters bombarded “vehicles transporting terrorists” in three areas; At-Toma village, Ash-Shallaq village, and Al-Atayqa village. Armed fundamentalists also fired an anti-aircraft missile at one of the military Apache helicopters forcing it to leave the area after also being subject to extensive gunfire. Egyptian soldiers are currently working with the help of Bedouin Sheiks in order to contain the situation in At-Toma village, known for housing the largest number of armed extremists. The confrontations started after sixteen Egyptian policemen were killed, Sunday, during an early-morning raid near the Gaza Rafah crossing along the Egyptian border.
And in Nablus, President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinian Authority insists on going to the UN seeking international recognition of a Palestinian state under occupation. Abbas said that the PA is willing to take this step regardless of conflicts with other interests. The Palestinian President added, “Israel neither halted settlement activities, nor recognized the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967 as occupied territory. Thus, the only choice we have is to go to the UN equipped with a united Arab stance.’
Elsewhere, four Palestinian political prisoners currently imprisoned in Israeli military jails under administrative detention orders are continuing their hunger strikes despite deteriorating health conditions and abuse by Israeli soldiers according to a joint press release issued by several human rights groups. The statement expresses outrage at the treatment of Palestinian prisoners and especially of those who are more vulnerable due to their hunger strike. They demand that previous prisoner agreements from May of this year and the non-derogable human rights of prisoners be respected. In addition to the right to not be beaten or tortured in custody, this means the release of prisoners under administrative detention orders, unrestricted access to hunger strikers by independent physicians, and the affirmation that released prisoners will not be rearrested.
Near Bethlehem today, Israeli forces began building new houses on illegally confiscated Palestinian land. The Israeli military has seized hundreds of dunums of agricultural land in the town of al-Khader in order to connect the two illegal Israeli outposts of Daniel and Eliezer. All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and the seizure of civilian land and property by the military is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention which states that an occupying force may not confiscate civilian property or transfer its population into occupied territory.
And finally today, in the southern part of the West Bank, towns in the southern Hebron hills are witnessing extensive Israeli military activities, an issue that is raising fear among the residents of the impending demolition of their homes. The report indicated that two military helicopters transported paratroopers who landed in Al-Moghar village, one of eight villages that the Israelis have recently stated that they will demolish in order to use the area for military training purposes. Sources said that the soldiers were masked, and that they took pictures of caves, tents and some structures, and also searched several homes causing extensive damage, while some soldiers spilled milk jars and butter onto the ground. The report in Israeli daily Ha’aretz indicated that dozens of children were terrified by the invading soldiers, especially the masked soldiers who were deployed around the homes and tents.
And that’s all for today from IMEMC News; this was the Wednesday August 8th 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.