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Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media centre, www.imemc.org for Monday June 26th, 2006
Captive Israeli soldier may be returned with release of long-term Palestinian political prisoners, Army arrests 15 residents during a pre-dawn invasion of Hebron villages, Palestinian resistance shells Kfar Azzah, Army storms shepherds huts east of Tubas, Army arrests two residents in Nablus and open fire at a journalist, Army arrests one resident from Al Obadia, village near Bethlehem, Israel provides PA with ambulances
These stories and more coming up, stay tuned
Captive Israeli soldier may be returned with release of long-term Palestinian political prisoners
Inside sources told the Palestine News Network Monday that negotiations on securing the release of an Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian resistance fighters are underway. The soldier was captured during an ambush of an Israeli military installation in the southern Gaza Strip yesterday, in which two Palestinian fighters and two Israeli soldiers were killed.
In an exclusive interview with an official source, PNN received word that Israel is now prepared to pay a price for the release of the captive soldier, and that the Palestinian Authority is not a party directly involved in these negotiations. The negotiations are apparently being carried out between armed Palestinian resistance groups directly with the Israeli military, along with Egypt and other parties, while the Palestinian Authority called on Palestinian resistance members to keep the Israeli soldier alive and well-treated.
Abu Obaida, spokesperson for Al-Qassam brigades says that the Brigades refuses to release any information about the captive Israeli soldier to the Israeli government.
"We say clearly that we have no information or details we could give to the Zionist enemy at this moment"
Army arrests 15 residents during a pre-dawn invasion of Hebron villages
The Israeli forces arrested 15 residents from several villages near the West Bank city of Hebron, Monday morning
Troops invaded the villages of Beit Ola, Halhol, and Turama, and arrested fifteen residents in a wide scale search campaign in three villages.
Four of the arrestees were identified as; Khlaed Al Adarba, 33, Mohamed Al Adarba, 23, Mossa Mohamed, 40, Majed Isbitan, 18, all were taken to unknown locations, local sources reported..
Palestinian resistance shells Kfar Azzah.
AL Aqsa Martyrs brigades, the armed wing of the Fateh movement, and Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) announced their joint responsibility for firing three homemade shells at the Israeli town of Kfar Azzah.
In a joint press release the brigades stated that the attack comes in response to the ongoing Israeli assaults and aggression against the Palestinian people
Army storms shepherds huts east of Tubas
Israeli troops injured Ahmad Nawaf, 15, and Tarik Qassrawi, 40, when troops opened fire during an invasion to the West Bank city of Tubass late Sunday night.
Army vehicles entered the city and soldiers opened fire randomly at the residents’ houses, eyewitnesses reported.
Residents also said that troops fired tear gas into their houses, causing minor injuries.
Monday morning Israeli army troops stormed Palestinian shepherd huts east of Tubas, forcing the shepherds and their families from their homes while the soldiers conducted searches of these huts.
Eyewitnesses reported that troops fired sound bombs near the huts before attacking them, causing panic among the residents.
Army arrests two residents in Nablus and open fire at a journalist
Israeli Forces invaded the West Bank city of Nablus Monday morning, arresting two residents as soldiers opened fired at a journalist’s car.
Troops stormed the city and conducted a wide scale search campaign before arresting Mohamed Khalil, 18, and Mohamed Abu Salhia, 23, and taking them to an unknown location, eyewitnesses reported.
Meanwhile soldiers opened fire at Hassan Al Titi, a journalist for Al Jazeera TV and Reuters. According to Al Tiiti, he was documenting the troops’ searches of residents’ homes in the city when soldiers opened fire at his car which was marked as a press car. He escaped without injuries but his car was damaged .
Army arrests one resident from Al Obadia, village near Bethlehem
Israeli army arrested Qobel Radida, 23, during an invasion to Al Obadia village east of the West Bank city of Bethlehem Monday morning.
Troops entered the village from different directions and searched several homes before arresting Radida and taking him to unknown location, local sources reported.
Israel to provide PA with ambulances
Magen David Adom, the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross, will provide six new ambulances to the Palestinian Authority as part of a deal that will allow the Israeli group to join the International Red Cross, according to a report on the Israeli Ynet News service.
The ambulances will bear the Red Crescent symbol and Israeli vehicle license plates. According to Israeli sources cited by Ynet, they will be allowed to cross IDF checkpoints with a minimum security check, provided that the paramedic teams are on a pre-approved list registered by the Red Cross and that the ambulance carries a seriously ill or wounded person, as listed in a pre-approved list of medical conditions.
Two more ambulances will be provided to the Red Crescent to evacuate injured people from east Jerusalem.
"It was agreed that we will help the Palestinians to lobby the Israeli government for their humanitarian needs, " said Dr. Noam Yifrach, chairman of MDA’s executive committee. "The Palestinians asked us to help convince the Israeli authorities to perform only minimum security checks at the crossings."
For the past five months, a hotline has been operating between MDA’s regional managers and their Palestinian counterparts. When Palestinians encounter a medical problem or a problem at the checkpoints related to treating ill or injured people, they call on their Israeli counterparts.
Dr. Yifrach added: "If we have to fight the soldiers, we will, but we will not put up with a woman who has to deliver a baby at the checkpoint or with an injured person being left to die there. An 18-year-old soldier cannot always appropriately judge the situation to determine whether one should cross over or not."
And that’s just some of the news for today in Palestine. For constant updates, check out the International Middle East Media Center website, www.IMEMC.org. As always, thanks for joining us. From Occupied Bethlehem, this is Palestine today was brought to you by Maia Williams Carpenter and Ghassan Bannora