THE Palestinian leadership agreed on Saturday to call on the UN Security Council for an urgent meeting on Israel’s settlement expansion on Palestinian land.

The meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organisation Executive Committee in Ramallah, headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, agreed to begin international contacts and consultations on the issue, a statement said.

Amid the impasse over negotiations with Israel, the committee said the situation requires a meaningful intervention from the international community.

The current situation is a real threat to the national project and two-state solution, the PLO governing body said.

PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo also warned at the Saturday meeting that the Palestinian National Authority would face difficulties paying employees next month and during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, calling on Arab states to help stave off the government’s financial crisis.

Negotiations between Israel and the PLO broke down in late 2010 after Netanyahu refused to extend a partial freeze on illegal settlement building on occupied Palestinian land.

In February 2011, the PA sought a UN resolution declaring Israeli settlement building illegal. Fourteen members of the 15-member Security Council voted in favour of the resolution, but it was vetoed by the US.

The text of the resolution was based on Washington’s own statements on the illegality of Israeli settlements. After vetoing the resolution, the US maintained that it considered Israeli settlements to be illegal and a threat to prospects for peace.

On Saturday night, the Israeli municipal council of Jerusalem demolished several stores belonging to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem near the Old City’s Damascus Gate.

Local residents said that four stores were being demolished.

The stores were set ablaze suspiciously about a week ago, they noted.

One of the owners, Samir Salaymah, said: ‘The owners were surprised when they saw large numbers of Israeli police officers escorting labourers who started to demolish the stores without prior notice.’

Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and later declared it part of its undivided capital, but its claims are not recognised abroad.

l The Palestinian ministry of prisoners’ affairs said prisoner Ayman Sharawna from Dora in southern Al-Khalil begun his open hunger strike on Sunday till his release.

The ministry stated in a statement that Sharawna is a liberated prisoner in a Wafa al-Ahrar deal where he spent ten years in occupation prisons.

He is the first liberated prisoner who was re-arrested after the Wafa al-Ahrar exchange deal in October last year, where he was administratively sentenced for six months.

The ministry stressed that the arrest of Sharawna and other liberated prisoners is a flagrant violation of what have been agreed in the Wafa al-Ahrar deal through Egyptian mediation.

The ministry urged the Arab Republic of Egypt and human rights and humanitarian organisations led by the International Red Cross to intervene immediately to save the lives of Sharawna and his colleagues.

The ministry had announced in an earlier statement that the occupation has arrested 15 prisoners liberated in the Wafa al-Ahrar deal, and considered it a violation of the exchange deal and international conventions and norms.

Meanwhile, there are 1,700 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails receiving medical treatment, a report by the Palestinian Authority ministry of prisoners affairs said on Saturday, calling for improvements to medical care by prison authorities.

The ministry report says 75 of these prisoners are suffering from chronic disease, and 20 are interned in Ramle prison hospital.

It highlighted the case of Ala Ibrahim Ali Al-Hims from Rafah in the Gaza Strip, who has been held since Febbruary 24, 2009 in Hadarim prison.

Ministry lawyer Shirin Iraqi said after visiting Al-Hims, who has tuberculosis, that he is constantly vomiting and suffers migraines and severe dizziness.

Iraqi said the Israeli prison administration has denied him access to specialist doctors or hospitalisation.

Earlier last week, the ministry quoted a prisoner in Israel’s Eshel jail saying the prison doctor had left to visit his sick mother in Russia, leaving patients without adequate medical attention.

Mohammad Abed Al Kareem Zawahreh told a ministry lawyer that prison authorities had brought in the doctor from nearby Ramon prison every few days, but the backlog in seeing patients meant sick prisoners were not receiving appropriate care.

l The Israeli occupation forces continued its arbitrary aggression against the people of Gaza during the month of June, where they carried out dozens of military incursions and operations in the Palestinian territories killing a number of Palestinians and detaining others.

This was in addition to the Israeli destruction, confiscation, and attacks against the Palestinian people and territories in occupied West Bank, as well as to the siege imposed on Gaza.

Twenty-five Palestinian civilians have been killed in the Palestinian territories during the past month, including six children under the age of eighteen.

In the West Bank, two citizens, Na’im Salama Mohammed Najjar,32, and Anwar Khalil Abed Rabbo, both from the town of Yatta in Al-Khalil city, died after being shot by a settler in the Alsemia, near the town of Samu.

In the Gaza Strip, the IOF resumed its aggression last month where they killed 23 Palestinians, including six children between the ages of two and 18 years.

The Israeli assassination policy has also targeted 17 Palestinians, including a number of resistance men.

Furthermore, three resistance fighters were martyred on 18th June in armed clashes which took place on the Egyptian-Palestinian borders during an attack by the resistance in southern Palestine during which a soldier of the Israeli border police was killed.

Ahmed Toubasi, a lawyer and researcher at the Tadamun Foundation, condemned the occupation racist practices against the Palestinian people in light of the escalation of aggression and crimes against them, especially those crimes perpetrated against citizens in Gaza Strip during the recent aggression, as well as the siege imposed on them which considerably affects the living conditions of people.

Toubasi insisted on the Palestinian people’s right to live in security and freedom and dignity, like everyone else in the world, warning against the continued violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories.

The Tadamun Foundation called on the international community to assume its responsibilities and to pressure the occupation to stop these violation through obliging it to bear its legal and ethical responsibilities as an ‘occupying state’ as stipulated in international treaties and conventions.