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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for Monday November 12th, 2012.

As Israeli leadership gear up for a large-scale military offensive against the Gaza Strip, Israel’s Defense Minister approves more settlers’ homes in the West Bank. These stories, and more, coming up, stay tuned.

Israeli media sources reported that the office of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is preparing the international public opinion for a large-scale military offensive against the Gaza Strip, adding that it seems that Netanyahu has already decided to conduct a large ground offensive against the coastal region.

The recent Israeli officials’ comments come after the military escalated attacks against Gaza over the Weekend killing seven Palestinians.

A Palestinian fighter of the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, was killed on Sunday at dawn when the Israeli army fired a shell at an area in northern Gaza. While six Palestinians were killed, on Saturday evening and at least thirty residents were wounded, in Israeli attacks targeting the coastal region.

In other news, Israeli news sources announced on Monday that Israel’s Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, approved last September a plan to construct additional 538 units in the Itamar illegal Israeli settlement, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The new plan is meant at doubling the size of the settlement.

According to the Israeli Haaretz, it said that it obtained a document revealing that Barak approved the plan despite the fact that the Israeli Planning and Construction Committee has not approved it yet.

Barak “legalized” 138 illegal units built by the settlers without Israeli construction permits, and decided to build additional 538 units. The only condition he set forth was that the settlers need to obtain construction permits from the Israeli Defense Ministry before they start the constructions.

And that’s all for today from the IMEMC News; this was the Monday November 12th, news round-up from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website at Today’s report has been brought to you by Hussam Qassis and me, Ghassan Bannoura.