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Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre Monday July 31st, 2006

In Gaza, the Israeli army invaded a refugee camp, killing one person, and attacked central Gaza Strip, killing two residents. The Israeli Army invaded several cities and villages in the West Bank and took 10 prisoners. Meanwhile soldiers installed a checkpoint around Nablus and Salfit, and in Lebanon, the Israeli army continued its attacks just after army officials said they would stop attacks for 48 hours.

These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

Gaza Update

Palestinian sources reported that one man died Monday morning of wounds he sustained during the Israeli army invasion to the Al Maghazi refugee camp last week. In a separate attack, two residents were reportedly killed in an Israeli shelling to an area near the Kissufim Israeli border crossing, east of Dir Al Balah, in the central Gaza Strip.

Palestinian medical sources reported that soldiers informed Palestinian officials that the bodies of the two residents killed by Israeli military fire are located near the Kissufim Crossing, east of Dir Al Balah. An ambulance crew headed to the area to retrieve the bodies was unable to locate them.

As of this report, Palestinian hospitals have not confirmed the incident since no bodies have been located. Medical teams continue to search the area under dangerous conditions from continuous Israeli shellings.

Meanwhile, the latest casualty in the Al Maghazi refugee camp invasion 10 days ago was Yousef Sa’dy Al Maghari, 20, who died earlier today at the Ekholov hospital in Israel after being transferred from a local hospital in Gaza. The three day tank operation in the camp killed 30 residents and injured 60.

In a separate incident, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for firing homemade shells into the Israeli Negev town of Sderot. The brigades said the shelling comes in retaliation to the continuous Israeli assaults against the Palestinian people.

West Bank

The Israeli Army invaded several cities and villages in the West Bank and took 10 prisoners. Meanwhile soldiers installed a checkpoint around Nablus and Salfit.

Israeli army troops took Awwad Friha, 38, as prisoner in a pre dawn invasion of the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Monday.

Also today the army invaded the West Bank city of Nablus at dawn and took three prisoners, local sources reported. Troops and army jeeps entered the city from several directions and searched a number of houses and a gas station where they took the prisoners, identified as Samer Amer, Ammar Al Quseni and Abdallah Amer, to unknown locations, eyewitnesses reported.

Meanwhile Israeli troops invaded the area of Iktaba located east of the West Bank city of Tulkarem and took three residents as prisoners, Monday morning. The prisoners were identified as Mohamed Alariah, 18, Sami Alariah, 19, Baha’e Badawi, 18.

In Hebron, Israeli soldiers stationed at a military checkpoint north of the city took as prisoner Ahmad Ebiat, who lives in the nearby city of Bethlehem. Ebiat was arrested while crossing the checkpoint into Hebron on his way to work. Also, Israeli soldiers stationed at a military checkpoint in the nearby village of Yatta, took Mossa Dawoed, 35, as a prisoner on Monday.

Ala’ Houssen, 20, was taken prisoner by Israeli soldiers from the village of Alar located east of the West Bank city of Qalqilia, as part of the pre dawn invasion on Monday.

Israeli soldiers stationed at several military checkpoints around the West Bank city of Nablus stopped residents and students from entering Ramallah and installed a military checkpoint to the south of Al Far’a village near Salfit for the second day in row on Monday. Soldiers stopped residents and civilian cars, searched them, checked ID cards and forced people to stand for long hours under the sun, eyewitnesses reported.

According to residents, soldiers open fired at residents and cars who tried to go around the checkpoint using a nearby farming road.

At military roadblocks between Palestinian cities in the West Bank, Israeli forces continue to contravene international law, specifically the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit interference in medical procedures.

Dr. Ali Al Salman from Qaliqila in the northwestern West Bank works in Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus. He told PNN on Monday that doctors, medics, patients and ordinary citizens alike are suffering exponentially at the Beit Iba Checkpoint in Nablus.

Lebanon Update

Local sources in southern Lebanon have reported that Israeli air strikes have continued unabated despite public promises made by Israeli officials Sunday night that the strikes would pause for 48 hours. On Monday, the Israeli defense minister changed the tone of the Israeli plan, saying they will not halt, but will expand their attack on southern Lebanon – despite a bombing that killed 60 civilians and sparked international outrage only a day before.A Lebanese soldier was killed, and three were injured in an Israeli naval attack on a Lebanese military base north of the city of Tyre in southern Lebanon.

In Al-Awayda area, Kafr Shuba’ and Kafr Hamam were all hit Monday morning by heavy Israeli shelling, local sources reported.Meanwhile, the Israeli military reported that their air force had dropped bombs on the town of Taibe and invaded the area with ground forces. Three Israeli soldiers were also wounded when Hezbollah fighters attacked two tanks with missiles near the Lebanese border town of Kila, the Israeli army said.

At least two rockets fired by Hezbollah fighters also hit an area near the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona, Israeli media reported. Israeli police initially denied the incident in adherence with an order issued by the Israeli Military Censor’s office that media not be allowed to report successful strikes by Hezbollah into Israel. Some have called Israel’s tactic of censoring much of the information relayed to the media about the war in Lebanon a type of "psychological warfare."

In a speech to the Israeli parliament Monday morning, Defense Minister Amir Peretz said that Israel must not agree to an immediate ceasefire in the 20-day long conflict, despite calls for a ceasefire by countries around the world and the United Nations. An Israeli official told Ma’an News Agency that cars and trucks, warehouses and Hezbollah fighters would continue to be targeted during the 48-hour cessation period. The unidentified official said, "If we identify a Hezbollah storage warehouse belonging we will bomb it", adding "The Israeli army will not bomb suspicious buildings if the targets are not clear."

However, it remains unclear as to why the Lebanese military, who have thus far abstained from the conflict, were targeted in this morning’s attacks. Separately, One hundred and fifty people demonstrated outside the main entrance of Prestwick airport. Peace campaigners fear that US planes, which have refueled at Prestwick are delivering arms to Israel for its offensive against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

A source at Glasgow’s Prestwick airport added that the planes were diverted to RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, in eastern England, which is operated by the US Air Force.


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 Jacque Shoen Stacie Miller and Ghassan Bannoura.