Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || File 3.66 MB|| Time 4m10s ||Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday May 29th, 2007.
Israeli warplanes continue to target the Gaza Strip, killing two today, while in the West Bank Israeli troops kidnap more Palestinian lawmakers; these stories and more coming up, stay tuned.
The Gaza strip
For the first time in two weeks, early on Tuesday at dawn the Israeli army carried out a ground attack on the southern Gaza Strip, killing two Palestinians, said to be Hamas members, wounded a 32-year-old woman and another two men. Palestinian medical sources identified the dead as Abdel-Karim Shaa’th and Mohammad Muamar, who were killed during a shootout with the invading Israeli forces.
The sources said that the wife of another Palestinian from the area, was moderately wounded with a bullet to the head, as well as four other locals. Witnesses said that tens of Israeli armored vehicles, backed up by warplanes, invaded the vicinity of the Sufa commercial crossing in eastern Rafah city, and began shooting heavily at the Palestinian houses.
Shortly after a gun battle, soldiers broke into the houses, killing Abu Moamar and Sha’ath, wounding the woman and the other two men and taking prisoner the two brothers of Abu Moamar, witnesses added. Witnesses made clear that the Israeli soldiers exchanged gunfire with resistance men and called, with loudspeakers, on certain family members to leave their houses. Tuesday’s incursion into Rafah is the first since Israeli warplanes have stepped up air strikes on the Gaza Strip on May17, targeting mainly Hamas operatives and positions. Following an Israeli cabinet meeting on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, vowed to broaden military attacks on Gaza, regardless of whether Hamas ceases its attacks or not.
Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes fired missiles late on Monday night at a club building in Beit Hanoun city in northern Gaza, wounding four people, including a woman and child, and causing severe damages to nearby houses. In the meantime, Israeli media sources reported that a number of Palestinian resistance groups fired on Monday seventeen homemade shells on southern Israeli areas near the Gaza Strip, including Sderot and the Negev. No causalities were reported.
The West Bank
The Israeli army invaded several towns and cities in the West Bank and kidnapped at least 13 civilians, among them a Fatah Parliamentarian from the city of Nablus. The Israeli army invaded Balata refugee camp near Nablus in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Sources in the camp reported that troops invaded the area and ransacked homes, causing massive damage and kidnapping the Fatah law maker along with 9 other civilians. The Israeli army kidnapped the Fatah legislator Jamal Al Terawe from his home located in the Balata refugee camp and took him to unknown location
In a separate operation in Jenin, the army kidnapped Majdi Ashor, 20, assistant to the Minister of Planning, and Ma’moun Ashor, 22. Both were taken to unknown destinations. The Israeli army has kidnapped more that 40 Palestinian officials and supporters of Hamas over the past week. The army claims that this kidnapping campaign is aimed at forcing Hamas resistance fighters in Gaza to stop firing home made Qassam rockets at nearby Israeli towns and cities.
Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, brought to you by Jane Smith and Ghassan Bannoura.