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Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre for Monday October 16th, 2006.

A Palestinian youth was killed in an explosion that took place east of Khan Younis In the meantime Israeli troops attack West Bank cities and takes prisoners. These stories and more coming up stay tuned.

The Gaza Update

Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported that a Palestinian youth was killed in an explosion that took place east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The sources identified the youth as Mohammad Al Breem, 20. The causes of the explosion remain, so far, unknown. One resident was injured in the blast.
The explosion took place in Abasan area, east of Khan Younis.

Israeli military sources claimed that the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, managed to obtain dozens of Russian-made missiles that could hit targets 4 kilometers away. The missiles, according to Israeli Radio, can hit and damage armored vehicles.  The sources added that the missiles have a high level of accuracy and that the Hamas leadership in exile is attempting to develop the military capacities of Hamas movement. The movement denied the reports and said that its fighters have Qassam homemade shells and other weapons that will be used if Israel carries further invasions and attacks in the Gaza Strip.

Here is Salah Al Bardawil, a Palestinian Law Maker from Hamas:

"This is untrue; Hamas has been self-dependant in providing the needs for the resistance in all its previous operations facing the huge aggressive Zionist military arsenal.  So, Israel should stop looking for justifications for its aggression, because it does not need such justifications."

The West Bank Update

Israeli forces invaded the West Bank city of Bethlehem and the nearby Deheisha refugee camp and took prisoner two residents, Monday at dawn. Troops surrounded the house of Khader Masalmah in the city of Bethlehem, searched it, then took his son Mohamed, 17, to an unknown location. In the meantime, in Deheisha refugee camp, troops broke into the home of Ahed Al Zighari, searched it and ransacked his family’s belongings. Soldiers took Al Zighari to an unknown location.

Also in Bethlehem, unknown gunmen broke into and damaged the offices of the Joint Services Council of the Ministry of Local Government on Monday at dawn. The front door was damaged and the gunmen confiscated hard drives from several computers, and some of the furniture.

The director of the office, Kamel Hmeid, said that the act was carried out by a group of criminals wanting to spark internal fighting between the Palestinians.
He did not eliminate the possibility that the Israeli army was behind the attack since soldiers were operating in the area and had broken into several houses.

On Monday morning the Israeli army invaded the West Bank city of Nablus and the nearby Balata Refugee Camp. According to eyewitness reports, a number of Israeli military vehicles stormed the city, searched and ransacked houses, then took Mo'taz Al Afouri, 21, prisoner.  Meanwhile, troops broke into residents’ homes in Balata and took Nimir Al Tirawi, 22, to an unknown location. 

Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, claimed responsibility for
detonating three home-made roadside bombs as military vehicles invaded the city.  No injuries were reported. Israeli soldiers took positions in the city center, the old part of the city and in the Balata Refugee Camp, local sources reported.

The Israeli authorities did not allow Osama Al Adel, an MS patient from the West Bank city of Qalqilia to travel out of the country for medical treatment explaining that he is a security threat to the state of Israel. Al Adel needs a monthly injection that costs 1,500 Shekels or 350 USD. If he does not receive this injection on time he will lose the ability to walk, speak and see.

The Palestine News Network, PNN, interviewed the man, who told them that he was planning to travel to Saudi Arabia after he sent his medical reports to the German – Saudi hospital, which responded positively about possibly treating his illness. On his way to Saudi Arabia he was stopped by the Israeli borders control, who would not allow him to leave, claiming he was a security threat.

Osama told PNN that the injections he needs are not available in Palestine on a regular basis and doctors say that any MS case not taken care of on a regular basis puts the patient in great danger. Osama went to Hamoked, an Israeli human rights group, to see if they could help him get approval from the Israeli military and secret police in order to leave for medical treatment outside the country.

Palestinian detainees in Nigaze Israeli detention center reported on Monday that 11 Egyptian political detainees continued today their hunger strike that started a week ago. The 11 detainees were taken prisoner while attempting to enter Palestinian areas through the borders, and are now being held without charges.

The detention center administration refused a request filed by Amar Darghmah, 28, from the West Bank city of Tubass to receive medical care. Darghmah was taken prisoner 3 years ago and sentenced to six years. Darghmah asked Hamoked to help bring medical care to Palestinian and Arab prisoners held in Israeli jails, a request the Israeli authorities have so far refused.


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.