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 Wednesday April 18th, 2007.

Palestinian government civil servants go on strike, in the meantime the Israeli army continues to attack West Bank cities and abduct civilians, these stories and more coming up stay tuned.

The Gaza update

Palestinian Authority (PA) government civil servants throughout the Gaza Strip and West Bank staged a general strike on Wednesday, in protest against the irregular salary payment over the past 13 months. The strike is part of a series of recent public sector strikes at a time when the Palestinian government is unable to ensure the salary payments of its workers. This is due to continued internationally-imposed embargo which the international community enforced in March 2006 after Hamas took power in January 2006’s elections.

On Wednesday morning unknown gunmen blew up a Palestinian-owned store in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, as a family feud erupted in the city leaving one woman injured. Palestinian security sources said that cell phone shop, owned by the Alghalban family, was blown up early on Wednesday by unknown gunmen, causing some damages to nearby shops. Meanwhile, a feud broke out between two families leaving two people injured, including a woman. Also, a booby-trapped car exploded on Wednesday in the Tal-Alhawa neighborhood of Gaza City, media sources said.

These incidents come a couple of days after the Palestinian interior ministry launched a security plan, which was intended to put an end to recent months of lawlessness and chaos throughout the Gaza Strip. This unrest has claimed the lives of hundreds of Palestinians and caused unprecedented instability in the region.

The West Bank

The Israeli army invaded several West Bank cities and abducted at least 25 Palestinian civilians on Wednesday. The majority of these abductions took place in villages near Jenin in the northern part of the West Bank, where the army abducted 12 civilians.

Around 15 Israeli military vehicles stormed the village of Zababda near Jenin, troops attacked and searched scores of homes then took five people to unknown detention camps, eyewitnesses reported. Among those abducted were Ahmad Sharqawi, 20, and Ahmad Qassem 20. In the meantime, another Israeli army force invaded the nearby Jalbon village. Soldiers fired sound bombs and live rounds at the villagers’ homes and troops searched and ransacked a number of houses after forcing the families outside.

The forces invaded the village after abducting seven men and taking them to unknown locations. Among those abducted were; Nafi’e Abu al Rub, 30, Raed Abu Rub, 32, and Omer Abu Rub, 40.
During an Israeli invasion to Balata and Asker refugee camp, located in the city of Nablus in the northern part of the West Bank, local resistance fighters clashed with the invading troops and managed to detonate home made bombs near the army vehicles, damaging some of them, Palestinian sources reported. The Israeli army reported no injuries among its invading forces. The invasion ended after several hours with the abduction of four civilians from the two refugee camps.

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 Oliver Eacott and Ghassan Bannoura.