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Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre  for Tuesday September 5th, 2006

PA employees go on strike while in the West Bank army continues to attack cities and takes prisoners, these stories and more coming up stay tuned.

PA Financial Crises

The strike which began last Saturday by the Union of Palestinian Teachers has now expanded to include nearly all sectors of the Palestinian government, as well as banks and private industry.  The strike is intended to pressure the international community into lifting an economic blockade on the democratically-elected Palestinian government that has been in place since March.   The blockade has prevented Over 165,000 government employees from receiving their salaries.

Today, a general strike was carried out in Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Beit Jala, and all surrounding villages in support of government employees who continued their strike for the fourth day demanding to receive their salaries which they didn't receive since March.

Meanwhile, private schools in Bethlehem decided to conduct a one-day strike in support of the striking government schools employees.

Some voices within the Palestinian government have called the strike an internal attempt to undermine the Hamas-led Palestinian government.  According to Jamil Shehadeh of the teachers' union the strikes are not against the government or any party, but it expresses the teachers’ anger and frustration.

The strike comes in the midst of tension between the two major parties Fatah and Hamas.  An aide to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said yesterday that the President would consider discharging the Hamas government by the end of this month.

On the streets thousands of teachers and government employees in the Gaza Strip and West Bank cities are calling to be paid and protesting the USA-led economic blockade on the Palestinian people. 

The West Bank Update
Three Palestinians were taken prisoners by the Israeli army during an invasion to the village of Al Khader south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Tuesday morning.
Troops and army jeeps stormed the village and surrounded the houses of the three men before forcing their way in ransacking the three houses.

In Tubas, near Jenin city, Israeli soldiers supported by dozens of armored vehicles and jeeps, invaded on Monday night the town and conducted wide scale search of residents' houses, shops and offices.  Troops invaded the headquarters of a charitable society, troops stormed the office, took computers and destroyed packages of food intended to be given to poor families in the town.

In Hebron, the Israeli army stormed the village of Dura, searched several houses and took one resident as prisoner.  Troops also stormed and searched several houses in Hebron city.  During the search of the house of Nidal Al Natsha, they forced all family out and destroyed some of the family property.

Meanwhile another force entered the nearby village of Bani No'em, searched and ransacked several houses.

The Israeli army closed the gate of the wall, the only access for the villagers of Far'oun to their farmlands. When installed, Israel claimed that farmers of Far'oun near the West Bank city of Tulkarem will be allowed to get to their lands located on the Israeli side of the wall.  However, closing the gate will prevent the farmers from getting to their farmlands which is the main source of income for those farmers.

Meanwhile Israeli military police assaulted a Palestinian who was prepared to be released from Israeli detention center of Megeddo.

Tayel Al Tirawi, 30 years old, from the West Bank city of Nablus was attacked by Israeli prison guards before he left the detention center’s compound where he had spent one year.

Al-Tirawi said that police attacked him with clubs and rifle-buts adding that there are some 1400 Palestinian detainees in Mageddo, including 34 ministers and lawmakers.

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 Michelle Lambert & Ghassan Bannoura.