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Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre  for Tuesday August 1st, 2006

Three killed in Gaza due to army shelling while three Israeli soldiers were killed during clashes with Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon, news which Israel denied. Meanwhile in the West Bank the army continues its attacks against civilians

These stories and more coming up stay tuned

Gaza Update

Palestinian sources in Beit Hanoun in the northern part of the Gaza Strip reported Tuesday afternoon that an Israeli fighter-jet fired a missile at a civilian car in the area of Abraj Al Nada in the city.  Two were killed including one child, and five residents were injured. Dr. Muawiya Hassanen, head of the Emergency Unit at the Palestinian Ministry of Health, reported that an Israeli surveillance plane fired at least one missile at the vehicle.

Dr. Hassanen added that one child, identified as Aref Abu Qaidha, 15 and Merfat Abu Sharikh, 24, were killed, in addition to five residents who were injured.  

The shelling also caused considerable damage to several constructions and vehicles in the targeted area. Earlier on Tuesday, Israeli troops invaded Al Shouka area in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and open fired at dozens of houses.

Eyewitnesses reported that a large number of soldiers supported by military vehicles and tanks advanced into the area while firing heavily at the houses. Also today, Somaih Abu Okal, 13 died from wounds she sustained form an army attack at her home several days ago, which killed her mother and two sisters. 

Lebanon Update

The Qatar based Al Jazeera TV reported that three Israeli soldiers were killed during clashes with Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon on Tuesday. Troops shelled the town of Ba’labak near the Syrian border and shelled several areas in Al Biqa’ and in southern Lebanon. 

Israel denied the news of the soldiers’ deaths and sent thousands of soldiers into several areas in southern Lebanon and engaged in heavy gun battles with Hezbollah fighters, especially in the Eita Al Shaab area. Also, a Lebanese policeman reported that Israeli soldiers clashed on Tuesday morning with Hezbollah fighters in the eastern section of southern Lebanon. At least three air strikes were carried out in Al Biqa’ area, and six additional air strikes targeted Sour village. 


The Israeli air force launched further air strikes against Lebanese border villages on Tuesday. Lebanese security sources said Israeli aircraft hit Bayyada, Mansoureh, and struck roads leading to Syria and eastern Lebanon, the Qatar based Al Jazeera TV reported. Hezbollah said that its fighters managed to destroy an Israeli warship off the coast of Tyre, but Israel denied the claim and said that twenty Hezbollah fighters were killed in the past two days in sectors of Al Taiba and Al Adasiyya. 

Official sources in Hezbollah said that 48 fighters have been killed since the fighting started on July 13. A Senior Israeli official reported on Tuesday that the army plans to move into southern Lebanon and occupy it for several weeks until the deployment of an International force. The official added that Israeli ground forces would reach the Litany River located 30 km north of the Lebanon-Israel border. 

The Israeli cabinet authorized a ground invasion for a distance of 6 to 7 km into southern Lebanon. The cabinet also approved a wide-scale ground offensive into Lebanon.  Moreover, the Israeli Radio reported that Israel intends to recruit at least 15,000 additional soldiers from three different Israeli military divisions. 

On the ground, soldiers shelled on Tuesday afternoon Kafr Shouba and the towns of Al Khiyam and Eita Al Sha’ab in southern Lebanon. Currently, fierce clashes are taking place there between Hezbollah fighters and Israeli soldiers. According to Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV, at least 35 Israeli soldiers have been injured in the ongoing clashes. 

In a separate incident, Hezbollah said it managed to destroy an Israeli military boat near the shores of Tyre Tuesday night. The ship’s model is Sa’ar 4.5 and had some 53 crew members on it when it was hit.  Israeli boats hurried to their rescue, the Hezbollah affiliated Al-Manar TV reported. On Monday evening, an anti-tank mine exploded near a military vehicle close to a settlement in the Golan Heights, Israeli Television reported. Also on Monday, at least five Lebanese civilians were injured in an Israeli air strike in areas located on the Syrian-Lebanese borders.  

The Israeli army also shelled a Lebanese military post on Al Qasmiyya Bridge, north of Sour.  One Lebanese soldier was killed and three others were injured.

West Bank

Mayesser Abu Zneid, 40, was taken prisoner when Israeli troops invaded the village of Dora near the West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday morning. Abu Zneid is a mother of four children and her husband has been wanted by the army for the last 12 years allegedly for being an activist.

Palestinian security sources and eyewitnesses report that about 15 Israeli troops invaded the town of Tulkarem at dawn Tuesday morning. Sources say that the forces raided the offices of the Center for Palestinian Studies and the Islamic Women’s Center, among other organizations.

Israeli forces seized computers and important documents from the offices, while causing substantial damage to the exteriors of the buildings.
 Despite the fact that most of the organizations that were raided were humanitarian service providers, Israeli military officials claim that the offices contained files and information associated with the Hamas party.

An Israeli force invaded the west bank city of Jenin and the nearby Qabatia Village Tuesday morning. Troops and army jeeps entered the city and village from several directions and conducted a wide scale search campaign in resident’s houses.  Soldiers fried randomly at the houses, eyewitnesses reported. The Israeli troops continued Tuesday morning to close the main entrances of Proqen and Kofr Al-Deek villages west of the West Bank city of Salfit by erecting several check points and road blocks.

In a separate incident, eyewitnesses reported that Israeli thieves, under the protection of the Israeli army, dug up and stole ancient artifacts found in the Khirbit Al-Shajara area north of Sulfit city. Israeli soldiers detained scores of residents at the southern entrance of the West Bank city of Nablus Tuesday morning.

The Israeli army continued on Tuesday morning to search the residents and check their IDs in Tubas, north of the West Bank. Troops erected a check point between the city and farming lands and stopped residents from going to their land, confiscated their ID cards and told them to go to the civil administration office in the area to retrieve their IDs.

Local farmers said that since the beginning of this year the army has confiscated hundreds of ID cards, claiming that their holders should not be in the Jordan Valley area, which is already prohibited for West Bank residents. Tuesday morning hundreds of Jerusalem residents protested in front of the Holy Sepulchre Church in the Old City of Jerusalem against the Qana massacre committed by the Israeli army this past Sunday.

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.