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Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre  for Wednesday October 4th, 2006.

An Israeli air strike wounds five Palestinians in northern Gaza, Hamas leader is assassinated near Qalqilia, and a Palestinian worker is murdered by Israeli police in Jaffa. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.  
 The Gaza Update

At least five Palestinians were wounded when Israeli war planes fired missiles at two cars in the northern Gaza Strip Tuesday evening, Palestinian sources reported.

The Israeli Army confirmed that it carried out an air attack apparently targeting operatives of the Islamic Jihad.

Another missile hit a nearby vehicle and wounded three members of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades who were inside. A Palestinian security official said the air strike occurred in the town of Beit Hanoun, near the border with Israel. 

Another air strike targeted the house of Fuad Abu Anza, a Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday night.  Eyewitnesses said the house was completely destroyed after an Israeli fighter jet fired at least one missile at it.

The West Bank update

Khader Odeh, a member of the village council of Habla, near Qalqilia was killed by unknown gunmen while going to the mosque for the morning prayer Wednesday morning, local sources reported. Hamdallah Mujahid, a friend of Odeh, said that masked men driving a car without license plates, opened fire at Odeh and killed him at around 4:30 am and then drove away.  Local sources believe Odeh was killed by an undercover Israeli force.

A Palestinian resident, who refused to be identified, said he saw a “suspicious” car roaming in the area just before leaving for work.  The worker added that when he came close to the car, the masked men yelled at him to go away.  According to the worker, they spoke to him in Arabic with a Hebrew accent. Contrarily, On the other, the Israeli army denied any relation to this assassination.

Odeh, 36, and the father of four children, was an elected member of the village council representing the Hamas-affiliated Reform and Change bloc.  Odeh has also served a two year sentence in Israeli jails for his political activities.

In the city of Qalqilia, Israeli troops took prisoner Samir Al Aqra'e during an invasion of the city Wednesday morning. Troops and army jeeps stormed the city from several directions, searched and ransacked homes before taking Al Aqra'e to an unknown location.
Moreover, on Wednesday at dawn Taufiq Abu I'iah, 29, a Palestinian worker from Tarqumia village near the West Bank city of Hebron, was shot and killed by Israeli  and border police during a campaign to arrest Palestinian workers working in the Israeli city of Jaffa without work permits.
Police sources said that the police searched and ransacked locations where Palestinians with no work permits were sleeping. After rounding up a few workers, one of them attacked a police officer and tried to grab the officer’s gun. During the fight, the gun fired and killed the worker.

However, there were contradicting accounts of the event by neighbors living in the area, who told the Israeli newspaper that they heard police shouting "stop or I'll shoot" before shots were heard, implying that the shooting had been deliberate and not accidental, as police claim.
Mohamed Abu Amer, 18, and Ziad Hasanin, 28, were taken prisoner by Israeli troops during an invasion to Balata refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus Wednesday morning.  Troops and army vehicles entered the camp, searched and ransacked several homes, occupying some homes to use as a sniper base.

Both detainees were taken to unknown locations after troops searched and ransacked their families' homes, their relatives reported. Eyewitnesses present described the soldiers conduct as violent, saying that the soldiers pushed and hit civilians with their guns forcing residents to remain standing for long hours outside their houses during the extensive raids.
In the meantime, Nidal Abu Sharikh was taken prisoner by the Israeli army while crossing a military checkpoint at the entrance of Al Thahria village, south of the West Bank city of Hebron Wednesday morning. Around the same time, Israeli troops invaded the nearby village of Sa'er and searched and ransacked houses. Residents reported damage to their belongings. The army claimed that they were looking for Mussa Jihad, an activist with the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades of Fatah. According to local sources, Jihad was not arrested.
Lith Jafal, 21, was also taken prisoner by Israeli army troops who stormed his house in  Abu –Dis town near Jerusalem Wednesday morning. Eyewitnesses said that troops forced the Jafal family into one room, then searched and ransacked the house before taking Lith to an unknown location.
Thank you for joining us from Occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Media Centre, brought to you by Caysha Cay & Ghassan Bannoura.