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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for Thursday December 20h, 2012.

Palestinian child injured by Israeli bomb in the Jordan valley, and Israel announces more settlements plans in the West Bank. These stories, and more, coming up, stay tuned.

A 12 years old Palestinian child was injured on Thursday when a bomb left by the Israeli military exploded near her at Al Malih village, in the Jordan Valley area of the West Bank.

According to local sources the child was playing near her family’s tents when a bomb left by Israeli soldiers exploded near her. She was moved to a hospital in Jericho city, where doctors said the child sustained critical wounds.

Last week the Israeli military conducted a military training in the Jordan valley. During the training Palestinian families were forced by the army to leave their homes.

In other news the US State Department issued a statement this week that included a rare criticism of Israeli policy, calling the ongoing construction of settlements on Palestinian land a ‘pattern of provocative action’ that prevented the renewal of peace talks.

Despite this critique, the Israeli government announced plans to move ahead with 6,000 new settlement units, mainly in the Jerusalem area.

After the Palestinian Authority pursued, and succeeded in obtaining, a vote for non-member statehood status at the United Nations last month, the Israeli government undertook a number of punitive measures against the Palestinians.

These including illegally confiscating Palestinian Authority funds that would pay the salaries of teachers, doctors, pensioners and the disabled, as well as announcing a plan to increase settlement construction in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

1,500 units were approved on Monday by Israel’s Interior Ministry, and discussion is continuing throughout this week on the plans for 4,500 additional units, which are expected to receive final approval by the Israeli Interior Ministry early next week. All Israeli settlements in the West Bank are considered to be violations of international law.

And that’s all for today from the IMEMC News; this was the Thursday December 20h, 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.