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Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre  for Thursday August 31st, 2006

Israeli army withdrew from Shujai'ya neighborhood in Gaza city after a five-day invasion which left 20 Palestinians dead and scores wounded. Meanwhile in the West Bank an Israeli army undercover unit assassinated a leader of the Al Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fateh movement, and injured six civilians, these stories and more coming up stay tuned

The Gaza Update

The Israeli army withdrew from Shujai'ya neighborhood in Gaza city on Wednesday at night after a five-day invasion which left 20 Palestinians dead and scores wounded in addition to serious damage to buildings and property. On Wednesday ten Palestinians were killed, including a 6-year-old boy. Medical sources reported that Husam Al Sersawi, 6 died of wounds he sustained on Monday. 

Meanwhile, Ahmad Al Banna, 32 died in the hospital when he was shot by army tanks operating in Al-Shuja'yia. Local sources reported that late Wednesday, Eyad Al Sarsek and Nidal Al Dahdoh, both 14, were killed when Israeli tanks fired at residents houses in the area. Four civilians were killed and eight were injured on Wednesday morning by heavy machine gun fire from Israeli tanks in the area Earlier on Wednesday at dawn, Husam Abu Rokba, 24 was shot dead by Israeli troops near the evacuated settlement of Dugit, near Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Relatives of Abu Rokba stated that he was mentally challenged.

On Thursday morning, several Palestinian resistance groups fired nine homemade shells at the Israeli southern towns of Sderot and Al Majdal.  Israeli sources said several Israelis were injured by fragments. The Al Qassam brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, the Al Quds brigades the armed wing of Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa brigades the armed wing of Fatah said in three separate press releases they fired homemade shells into two southern Israeli towns in response to the Israeli army attacks on civilians in Al Shujai'ya area. Also on Thursday a group of Palestinian resistance fighters affiliated with the Islamic Jihad said they managed to target an army bulldozer with a 30 Kgm homemade bomb while bulldozing residents' houses and lands in Al Shujai'ya area, no injuries were reported. Israeli army sources claimed that troops found two tunnels which the fighters are planning to use to carry on attacks against Israel.  Army sources said they found two tunnels with 30 depth and 150 length. 

Meanwhile Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip reported on Thursday that an unknown armed group opened fire and killed one of the leaders of the Salah Ed Deen Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees as he was driving his car in Al Shaty' refugee camp, east of Gaza City.  Eyewitnesses reported that Mohammad Al Nahhal, leader of Salah Ed Deen Brigades in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, was shot by fifteen rounds of live ammunition, while his wife sitting next to him was unharmed. The brigades said that “mercenaries and collaborators with the Israeli occupation” are behind the assassination of its leader of Gaza
West Bank update

An Israeli army undercover unit assassinated a leader of Al Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fateh, and injured six civilians in the West Bank city of Nablus n Thursday morning, Palestinian sources reported. Palestinian medical sources in the city identified the assassinated leader as Fadi Qafisha, and confirmed the injury of six civilians; all were moved to nearby Rafidia Hospital.

An undercover unit backed with apache helicopters invaded the old city of Nablus and ambushed Qafisha.  Resistance fighters clashed with the invading troops however, troops killed Qafisha local sources reported. Al-Aqsa Brigade fighters said they wounded some soldiers in the clash; the army did not announce any injury among the Israeli troops operating in Nablus.

The Israeli army took nine residents as prisoners in the West Bank city of Hebron and the nearby towns of Al-Thahria and Sa'eer towns, on Thursday morning. Troops, backed by dozens of army jeeps, stormed the city and the two towns, and conducted wide scale search campaign to the residents houses.

Soldiers searched and ransacked residents houses in a very rough way, eyewitnesses reported, and added that soldiers found no weapons or explosives in any of the attacked houses. The Palestinian News Agenecy, WAFA, reported that troops who invaded al-Thahria and forced seven family members of Al-Wreidat out of their house and detained them for over an hour while searching their house. 

On Thursday noon The Israeli army invaded the villages of Annin and Jalkamos near the West Bank city of Jenin and took two residents as prisoners. Eyewitnesses in the two villages said Soldiers stormed residents' houses in both villages searched  and ransacked them before taking Harbi Yassin, 19 from Annin, and Ala Abu Jaber, 21 from Jalkamos prisoners and transferring them to unknown location.

Meanwhile Israeli police stationed at Tayasser checkpoint east of the West Bank city of Tubas in the Jordan valley area have taken on Palestinian as a prisoner Thursday afternoon. Officers stopped the man searched him then handcuffed him and took him to unknown location, the reason for the arrest and his name remains unknown, local sources reported.

Thank you for joining us from Occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today of the International Middle East Media Centre, brought to you by Dina Awwad& Ghassan Bannoura.