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Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media Centre   for Monday July 17Th, 2006

The military continue its attacks on Gaza, meanwhile the Death toll hits 140 in Lebanon, as Israel targets residential areas these stories and more coming up stay tuned

Gaza update

The Israeli air force fired two missiles at the Palestinian Foreign Ministry in Gaza City early Monday, collapsing an 8-story section of the building. The attack against the ministry is the second in less than a week.

Smoke was seen rising from the building which was already damaged by an Israeli air strike last Thursday. Four injures were reported, including three children.

The Israeli air force fired missiles at offices belonging to Hamas-led security forces on Sunday after midnight. The strike destroyed the offices located in the Jabalia refugee camp, no injuries were reported.

In Beit  Hanoun Mahmod AL Kafarna, 21, was killed and another resident was injured after being shot by the Israeli army while standing in front of his house.

The army also besieged the hospital of Beit Hanoun and destroyed the garden wall that belongs to the hospital. troops stormed neighboring houses and turned them to military posts around the hospital.

Also today in Beit Hanoun the Palestinian Ramatan News Agency appealed to local and international media outlets to interfere for the protection of the reporters in the occupied territories. The agency reported that Israeli troops are currently detaining its team, along with women and children, at a house in Beit Hanoun in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

In a press release on Monday, the agency said that Israeli soldiers broke into a house in Beit Hanoun, on Sunday, and detained Engineer Hazim Ali Al Kafarna, head of the Satellite Broadcast Devision at Ramatan, his family, and a team of the agency who is present there.

The attacked house belongs to Dr. Qasem Al Kafarna. Soldiers destroyed parts of the attacked house.

The agency added that soldiers used women and children in the house as human shields and destroyed cars and several broadcasting equipment belonging to the agency.


Death toll hits 140 in Lebanon, as Israel targets residential areas

At least 140 Lebanese have been killed in five straight days of Israeli bombardments and air strikes, with the vast majority of those killed being civilians and children, the Lebanese Daily Star reported Monday.

 The Lebanese resistance shot down an observation balloon that was raised by the Israeli army overt the southern Beirut suburb.  Al-Jazeera Satellite channel showed footage of a huge fire with black smoke, which was attributed by many people to a shot down Israeli F-16 Jet fighter.  However, Israel denied that any of its F-16 were shot down.

 Israel’s attacks on Lebanon intensified over the weekend with the Israeli military bombing Beirut’s southern suburbs, in addition to targeting villages and infrastructure throughout the country.

 At least 39 Lebanese were killed, eight of which held Canadian citizens, according to the Canadian Embassy in Beirut, and 105 wounded in Israel’s offensive on Sunday.

At least 20 missiles struck the main fuel tank at Rafik Hariri International Airport and an adjacent tunnel. The attack was the fifth on the airport. Also on Sunday, the power plant in Jiyye was struck for the third time.

 Israeli warplanes also raided a building in the Southern port town of Tyre that housed the Civil Defense. The attack killed more than 20 civilians and wounded at least 50, including foreign relief workers. Several Israelis were injured Monday afternoon when a building in Haifa in northern Israel collapsed after being targeted by Katusha rockets fired by fighters of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israeli sources reported.

Several other buildings in Haifa sustained minor damage when shells exploded near them, no injuries were reported. Also on Monday, several Katusha shells were fired at Tiberias and Safad. Six Israelis were slightly injured earlier  when Katusha shells were fired at the Galilee. Several rockets struck areas in the Golan Heights.  

Several others rockets landed in Kiryat Shmona, Acre, Tiberias, Talal, Julis, Abu Snan, Kafr Yassif and other towns across northern Israeli, online daily Haaretz reported. Thirteen Israeli soldiers were hospitalized in Nahariya, in the Western Galilee, after suffering smoke inhalation, Haaretz added.






Israeli Soldier killed, seven others wounded in Nablus   

An Israeli soldier was killed and seven others were injured early Monday morning in an explosion in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Al Aqssa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the operation is a gift to the Lebanese resistance.

An AFP new agency reporter at the scene said the body of the soldier was lying in an alley surrounded by a group of Palestinians.

The Israeli army has threatened the residents of the old city of Nablus to return the body of the soldier within an hour or the army will invade.

Haaretz newspaper reported the soldiers invaded the old city of Nablus to arrest "wanted" resistence fighters when the bomb was thrown at them.

Three soldiers were treated for minors injuries. A fourther soldier had moderate wounds and is the son of GOC Central Command head Yair Naveh.

Meanwhile, troops took thee residents as prisoners from the city to to an unknown location.   

In Beit Amreen near the village also the army arrested three residents after storming and searching villagers’ houses. 

Army invades Bethlehem and arrests two residents

An undercover Israeli army unit kidnapped one Palestinian man from the West Bank city of Bethlehem in an Monday afternoon raid..

Yousif Abu Al Ize, 33, was kidnapped when undercover soldiers surprised him at his work place in the city centre.  According to eyewitnesses, he was forced into their car, then rushed out of the city

Another Bethlehem resident, Salah Qassem, 46, was arrested Monday during a morning raid that included several home searches in the Jabal Al Mawaleh area in the city Qassem was taken to unknown location, eyewitnesses reported

Thanks for joining us from Occupied Bethlehem you have been listening to Palestine Today for the International Middle East Media Centre, brought to you by Stacie Miller and Ghassan Bannoura.