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Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre   for Tuesday July 25th, 2006

One Palestinian resident has today died of wounds suffered in last Friday’s Israeli air strike to Al Maghazi refugee camp.  War planes continue to shell residents’ houses in the Gaza strip.  The Israeli army claimed control of Bint Jbeil town in Southern Lebanon.  At least twelve Lebanese, six Israeli soldiers and one civilian have been killed.  Meanwhile, the army continues to arrest and attack residents in the West Bank.  These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

Gaza Update

A Palestinian medical source in Gaza reported that one Palestinian resident died of wounds suffered in last Friday’s Israeli air strike in Al Maghazi refugee camp, south of Gaza City. 

The resident was identified as Khader Al Maghazi, 29. The number of Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip since the Israeli army launched its assault in the Gaza Strip in June 28 has now risen to 115, including children and elderly. 

On Monday, seven Palestinians, including a five-year old child, were killed by Israeli shells in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Among the dead were one child and his grandmother

Palestinian resistance fighters shot one home-made Qassam shell at the Israeli settlement of Miftahem, located east of Rafah city, early on Tuesday morning.

The Al Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack and said it will continue its struggle until Palestinian land is free.  The group also said that these attacks come as a direct response to the continuous Israeli army attacks on civilians in Gaza and Lebanon.

Jet fighters from the Israeli Air Force shelled a house in Rafah city, in the Gaza strip, Tuesday at dawn.  The shelling targeted houses in the Al Barazil neighborhood of the city, no injuries have yet been reported, but homes in the area sustained massive damage. Earlier Monday night, war planes fired missiles into two houses in Gaza city and Khan-Younis, injuring ten residents.

During the early hours of Tuesday morning, Israeli warplanes shelled a four-storey residential block in the east of Gaza city.  The Israeli Air Force gave a warning to the International Red Cross about the strike, and they alerted the families living in the block to evacuate.  Medical sources at Al-Shifa hospital stated that, despite the warning, four Palestinians were injured when the warplanes attacked.


Lebanon Update

The Israeli army claimed on Tuesday to be controlling Bint Jbeil town in Southern Lebanon, less than 10 km north of the strategic village of Maroun Al-Ras, which was captured by the Israeli army at the weekend.  At least twelve Lebanese, six Israeli soldiers and one civilian were killed on Tuesday.

General Alon Friedman, a senior commander in the northern regions, said that Bint Jbeil had come under the control of the Israeli forces. Talking to Israeli Radio, Friedman said that soldiers are tanks are now controlling the town.  Fierce fighting between Israeli forces and Hezbollah fighters raged in the area on Monday as Israeli forces pushed further north. Furthermore, the Israeli military confirmed that six Israeli soldiers were killed in battles near the town, at least fourteen soldiers were injured, including six injured by friendly fire. Two Hezbollah fighters were captured, an army source reported.

A Hezbollah spokesman has said that three fighters were killed in gun battles in the area. Also, the Israeli army shelled houses in Al Nabatiyya town, 25 km north of Bint Jbeil. Twelve civilians were killed in the attack. Among the dead were one man identified as Hamza, his wife and his two sons.   The daughter of Hamza was also seriously injured in the attack.  The Israeli army occupied Tallit Masoud area in addition to occupying the hills of Maroud Al Ras and Baroun.

The Israeli air army also shelled the village of Bobbein, and the towns of Kafer and Al Khiyam, in addition to shelling the Marj Oyoun plains.  During Monday night, soldiers shelled Al Hallousiyya town, near Sour, resulting in the death of several residents and their bodies being buried under the rubble of their houses.

Rescue teams were unable to reach the shelled areas as a result of the continuous Israeli shelling that has also targeted main roads and bridges.  The Israeli Air Force also fired missiles at an ambulance near Qana town, southern Lebanon.

In northern Israel, a 15-year old girl was killed and over a dozen people were injured as Hezbollah gunmen fired Katyusha shells at villages and cities across northern Israel, launching an estimated total of 55 rockets throughout the day.

The girl was killed when a rocket struck her home in a Muslim neighborhood in a Galilee village, Israeli sources reported.  Her 30-year old brother was seriously injured and her 12-year-old sister was moderately wounded, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.

Haaretz added that close to noon on Tuesday, 16 Katyushas were shot at Haifa and the surrounding suburbs. The attacks wounded 11 people and sent an additional 17 into shock.

The West Bank Update

 Four residents were taken prisoner by the Israeli army when troops and army jeeps stormed the West Bank city of Nablus and the nearby Askar refugee camp on Tuesday at dawn.

Soldiers stormed several residents’ houses and ransacked them before taking Mohamed Al Ashkar, 18, and Ahmad Manssour, 18, from Askar refugee camp and Majdi Al Shak’a, 32, and Azam Yassen, from the city to unknown locations, eyewitnesses reported.

Also on Tuesday morning, soldiers from the Israeli army closed several main and side roads around the West Bank city of Tulkarem. Troops stopped the public taxies and civilian cars at the military checkpoints, searching them and checking identity cards of the passengers.

The Israeli army troops stationed around the West Bank city of Tubas have stopped Palestinian trucks from entering the city today.  The trucks were delivering stocks of hay used as animal’s food by local farmers.

On Tuesday afternoon, Palestinian parliamentary groups along with international activists from France and South Africa demonstrated in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners in front of the ‘Ofer’ Israeli detention center, located west of the West Bank city of Rammallah.

The demonstrators said that this action was to show solidarity with the members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and law makers abducted by the Israeli army last month and being held in that detention center ever since.  The participants held placards bearing slogans against the imprisonment of the Palestinian law makers and legislators.

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 Roula Beitjally-al-jally,  Stacie Miller and Ghassan Bannoura