Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || 3.66MB || Time 4m 0sWelcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre,, for Monday April 2nd, 2007.

Palestinian journalists protest in Ramallah city, demanding the release of the kidnapped BBC reporter. The Israeli army continues to abduct civilians in the West Bank. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

The News Cast

Palestinian journalists organized a sit-in protest on Monday midday in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, demanding the release of the kidnapped BBC reporter Alan Johnston, who was abducted in the Gaza Strip 20 days ago. Johnston has been living in the Gaza Strip and reporting form the region for three years, his friends and coworkers told IMEMC.

The head of the Palestinian Journalist Union, Naeem Toubasi, stated that Johnston’s health is deteriorating and that there are expectations that the kidnappers want a ransom in order to release him.

Toubasi declared that the union will escalate protests if Johnston is not released, the Palestinian online daily Maan News reported. Media institutions declared a strike in Ramallah and announced that they will boycott the Palestinian presidency and the government for three days, beginning on Monday. Johnston’s kidnappers of have not released any demands for freeing Johnston; Palestinian officials have promised to resolve the issue.

Israeli forces invaded several cities and towns located in different parts of the West Bank and abducted at least 16 Palestinian civilians on Monday morning.

In Bethlehem city in the southern part of the West Bank, Israeli troops and jeeps attacked and searched residents’ houses located in Al Aza refugee camp. Soldiers forced families out of their homes during the search then abducted five men, eyewitnesses reported.

Among those five were: Kareem Al Barbari, 30, Hamza Al Azza, 17 and Issa Al Barbari, 47. All were taken to unknown detention camps.

Also in the southern part of the West Bank, Israeli troops attacked and searched houses in the city of Hebron and the nearby village of Beit Fajar. In Beit Fajar, troops attacked and searched houses then left the village after abducting Anass Takatka, 19, and So’od Thawabtah, also 19. In the city of Hebron soldiers abducted Mamdou Al Qawasmi, 19 as he was traveling back to the city after crossing the Jordanian border. His family stated that soldiers attacked the family home and ransacked it after abducting Qawasmi.

The Israeli army attacked and searched Palestinians homes in Hebron city and nearby Sourif village and abducted two civilians on Monday midday.
Local sources identified the two abducted civilians as Ali Abd Al Haleem, 20, form Sourif village and Abd Al Kareem Romoz, 23, from Hebron city.

Moreover, six civilians were abducted from Jenin city, Jenin refugee camp and a nearby village, in the northern part of the West Bank. The abductions took place during a search campaign the Israeli army conducted on Monday morning.

Soldiers searched homes and opened fire randomly at residents and their belongings, causing damage to property. No injuries were reported. The army left the area after some time, taking six civilians to unknown detention camps. Among those abducted were: Ibaraheem Abu Al Khier and his brother Salah from Slitat Al Harthia village west of Jenin, and Rami Kamiel, 20, from Qabatia village south of Jenin.


Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Media Center,, brought to you by Polly Bangoriad and Ghassan Bannoura.