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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday August 15th, 2012.

Israeli settlers vandalise agricultural land and Netanyahu ignores report on legalizing West Bank settlements Outposts, these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.

A group of extremist Israeli settlers used electric pumps to empty a Palestinian irrigation well and flooded Palestinian farmlands in as-Seer area, east of Sa’ir town, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Resident Yassin ash-Shalalda, told the Land Research Center that settlers of Esfir and Mitzad settlements carried out their attack on Tuesday at night. The settlers reportedly used a motor pump to empty the well and flooded the nearby Palestinian farmlands.

He added that several hundred cubic meters of land were wasted in the attack, and that the residents use this water for both irrigation and as a source of drinking water for their livestock.

Ash-Shalalda further stated that the residents filed a complaint to the Israeli police in Keryat Arba’ settlement in Hebron, but are not hopeful that there will be any affirmative action by the police due to the fact that numerous previous assaults, carried out by the settlers, were never investigated

In related news, Israeli soldiers invaded, several towns in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, and abducted one resident in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Soldiers also installed several roadblocks and searched dozens of Palestinian vehicles.

Eyewitnesses said Israeli troops invaded Hebron city and abducted Abdul-Aziz al-Fakhoury, 20. He was cuffed and taken to an unknown destination.

Soldiers also invaded several neighbourhoods in Hebron and searched a number of homes before invading Bani Neim town, south of Hebron, in addition to the towns of Yatta and Halhoul, north of the city.

Fearing international repercussions and criticism, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, decided to shelve a report prepared by former Supreme Court Judge, Edmond Levy, as the report calls for “legalizing” Israeli settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank as they, allegedly, are “part of the state of Israel’.

Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that the report Netanyahu decided to bury, does not only call for legalizing settlement outposts, but also allows easier expansion of existing Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The report was submitted to Netanyahu on June 21.

Netanyahu told several cabinet ministers that “the main issue in this report is the fact that it concluded that the Fourth Geneva convention is not applicable in the occupied West Bank” as the territory, according to Levy, “is not occupied, but is part of Israel”.

Netanyahu is not acknowledging the fact that Israel’s presence in the Palestinian territories is occupation by itself, but he fears that highlighting this report would lead to international controversy as the report contradicts varies articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory, and other facets of International Law.

And that’s all for today from IMEMC News; this was the Wednesday August 15th 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, George Rishmawi

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