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Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre www.imemc.org for Tuesday August 3rd, 2006
Eight people were killed including a child in Gaza and more than 28 were injured, Israeli warplanes continued their attacks Thursday on Lebanon. The death toll exceeds 900 Lebanese. These stories and more coming up stay tuned
Eight people were killed including a child in Gaza and more than 28 were injured in the continuous attacks by the Israeli army which targeted residential areas in the Shouka area east of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip. Dr. Ali Mousa, director of the Abu Yusef Al-Najar Hospital, said of the eight killed, five identified as Ziad Al-‘Eid, 21, Adnaan Abu Libda, 19, Wael Yunis, 24, Mohammad Kalab, 21 and Anis Abu Awad, 12 died instantly whereas three identified as Yousif Abu Moor, 22, Abd Al-Rahman Abu Snimah, 20, and Suleiman Ermeilat 55, were pronounced dead later at the hospital as they sustained serious injuries.
The Israeli army claimed that seven out of the eight killed in the attacks are members of Al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. Yet, Palestinian sources said that four fighters were killed, two from the Islamic Jihad and two from Al-Qassam brigades. The remaining four were civilians.
Dr. Mousa added that several people who were injured in the attack were not evacuated to the hospital due to heavy fire by the army. The attack started at dawn when Israeli jet fighters fired several missiles at a residential area east of Rafah. The young boy, Abu Awad, was the first to be killed and five others from the same family were injured. Jet fighters also conducted three air strikes in the early dawn hours, killing two. Less than an hour later, the jet fighters fired another missile at a group of residents and killed one and wounded several others. Dr. Ali Mousa, the director of Abu Yousef Al Najar Hospital in Gaza describes the injuries:
"So far, eight killed and around 23 wounded arrived at the hospital, most of the dead were severely dismembered and badly burned, hardly identifiable. A number of them died at the spot because ambulances were unable to reach them. There have been eight serious injuries out of the 23 as most of them were hit by missiles and artillery shrapnel. Most of the injured suffered sever burns, serious tissue damage and body mutilation as a result of using internationally prohibited weapons, which we still do not know its components."
The last attack targeted a group of residents gathered in the same area and killed one resident and injured six others. Eyewitnesses said that Israeli helicopters made six air strikes in the region. Local residents reported that several army tanks and bulldozers stormed the area during the early hours of Thursday morning and fired from heavy machine guns at residents’ homes, backed up by Israeli fighter jets and Apache Helicopters. Meanwhile the army continued to shell eastern and northern areas of the Gaza Strip Thursday morning.
Scores of tank shells hit residential areas in Al Sha’af area north of the Strip, damaging several homes. Meanwhile tanks and army bulldozers stormed the industrial zone near Beit Hanoun crossing point and destroyed public buildings and shops. According to local residents, tanks continue to randomly shell these areas. Moreover, two children identified as Mohammad Abu Al Hasseen, 4, and his sister Riham, 6, were injured after Israeli tanks fired shells at houses in Rafah.
The two children were hospitalized in Rafah suffering wounds in the face and hands, medical sources reported. In a separate attack that also took place after midnight, Israeli fighter-jets fired missiles at a vehicle driving on a main road linking Rafah and Khan Younis; no injuries were reported, ambulances rushed to the scene, WAFA added.
Israeli warplanes continued their attacks Thursday, engaging 10,000 troops with Hezbollah fighters in five areas of southern Lebanon. The death toll reaches 56 Israelis, exceeds 900 Lebanese.
Israeli jets hit areas just outside Beirut in the first air raid in nearly a week. Areas of the southern Beirut suburb of Dahieh were damaged. Jets also targeted Lebanon’s northern border of Syria where roads and bridges were destroyed, the southern border with Israel and the eastern Bekaa Valley where a road was hit.
Katusha shells kill two and injure 13 Israelis in Acre Thursday in fierce gun battles with Hezbollah fighters in Eita Al Sha’ab area, and in several villages in southern Lebanon.
Al-Manar television reported that a clash between Hezbollah fighters managed to destroy an Israeli tank and two bulldozers, slightly injuring its crewmembers. An Israeli missile killed a family of three after targeting a home in the border village of Taibeh, reported Lebanese security officials. An Israeli soldier was killed and four were wounded in ground fighting that took place near Ayt A-Shab village in south Lebanon.
One Israeli man, identified as Dave Lalchuk, 52, from Kibbutz Sa’ar, was killed, at least 16 Israelis, three moderately, were injured in the attacks. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¨ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¨Haaretz online reported that at least 30 shells were fired across the north on Thursday, striking Haifa, Kiryat Shmoneh, Ma’alot and the Golan Heights. Also, Israeli military sources reported that long-range rockets and missiles also fell in a West Bank area between Jenin, north of the west Bank. No injuries were reported.
The international community continues to hold meetings to discuss a ceasefire. However, France and the United States have been unable to agree on the timing of a ceasefire.
West Bank Update
Ziyad Daihya, 41, was arrested from his home in the town of Al-Bireh near the West Bank city of Ramallah when the Israeli army invaded the town at dawn.
Eyewitnesses reported that troops stormed the house and forced the family inside one room, before taking Daihya to an unknown location. Daihya is an engineer and a council member of the Al-Bireh Municipality.
The Israeli army also invaded on Thursday morning the West Bank city of Jenin and its refugee camp and imposed a total siege.
Troops and army vehicles stormed the city and the nearby refugee camp and searched several homes. Local residents said that soldiers fired randomly at their homes.
Meanwhile soldiers stationed at military checkpoints surrounding the city closed all checkpoints, putting the area under total siege.
The Israeli police closed all entrances to the old city of Jerusalem Thursday morning and closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque for residents under 45 years of age.
Local residents said that Israeli police have intensified their presence in the old city since early Thursday morning and installed checkpoints and roadblocks all around the old city.
On Wednesday, the Israeli Supreme Court decided to allow a right wing Israeli group, calling them selves The Temple Mount Trustees, to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque Thursday.
Thanks for joining us from Occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today for the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org brought to you by Jacque Shoen & Ghassan Bannoura