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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Monday May 6th, 2013.
Israeli troops invade West Bank communities and kidnap 13 civilians, and in Jerusalem the Israeli government gives the green light to demolish part of a mosque. These stories, and more, coming up, stay tuned.
Family members and local activists gathered on Monday morning in front of the Israeli military court of Ofer near the central West Bank city of Ramallah in solidarity with Palestinian elected law maker, Jamal al Tirawi.
al Tirawi was arrested in 2006 and was sentenced by the Israeli army to 30 years in jail. Three years ago the Israeli occupation administration in the West Bank agreed to release him from jail but the army still refuses to decision. Today was a court hearing to look into an appeal al Tirawi submeited demanding his release.
Earlier on Monday at dawn Israeli soldiers invaded Beit Fajjar, Al-Khader and Beit Sahour, in the West Bank district of Bethlehem, and kidnapped 13 Palestinians.
Army also invaded Jenin and kidnapped two residents.
Local news sources reported that the army invaded Beit Fajjar town, south of Bethlehem, broke into and searched dozens of homes, and kidnapped eight Palestinians.
The army also kidnapped three Palestinians at a temporary roadblock installed close to the Gush Etzion settlement, south of Bethlehem. Furthermore, Israeli soldiers invaded Wadi Freha area, in Beit Sahour city, and kidnapped two Palestinians .
Moreover the Israeli troops nvaded the towns of Qabatia and Al-Yamoun, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and kidnapped two Palestinians.
In other news an Israeli court in Jerusalem has decided to allow the Israeli government to demolish part of a mosque, despite appeals from the mosque’s imam and several Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament).
the Muhammad Al-Fatih Mosque, located in the Ras al-Amoud neighborhood in East Jerusalem, was forced to expand in 2009 due to a massive increase in worshipers after Israeli authorities began preventing Palestinian worshipers from accessing the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City.
To deal with the influx of worshipers, the Muhammed Al-Fatih mosque applied to the Israeli authorities for a permit to expand. That permit, like virtually every permit filed by Palestinians for construction on existing property, was denied. Facing a weekly overload of its capacity, the mosque’s managers decided to complete the expansion anyway.
The section in question is designated for female worshipers, who will be unable to participate in weekly services once the demolition is completed.
And that’s all for today from the IMEMC News; this was the Monday May 6th 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 Hussam Qassis and me, Ghassan Bannoura.