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Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre for Tuesday October 17th, 2006.

Three youth are killed by Israeli troops in Qabatia near the West Bank city of Jenin and in Hebron city, south of the West Bank, Israeli soldiers take four residents prisoner. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

The West Bank Update

Palestinian medical sources in Jenin reported that two residents were killed on Tuesday at noon in Qabatia town near the West Bank city of Jenin. Earlier on Tuesday, one youth was shot and killed by Israeli military fire in the town.

Sources stated that residents Hani Khaleel Al Samady 17, and Iz Ed Deen Ikmel, 15, were shot and killed on Tuesday noon by the Israeli army during a military offensive that started in the village late Monday night.

Local sources in the village reported that both were killed when soldiers opened fire at them during the invasion. Medical sources said that Iz Ed Deen died after sustaining a fatal wound in the cervix, while Al Samady was hit by a round of live ammunition in his throat. He was shot while standing in front of his house when soldiers, topping several houses, fired in different directions.

One Palestinian was killed and another injured as a large force of Israeli soldiers invaded the town of Qabatia, near the West Bank city of Jenin, Tuesday morning. Palestinian medical sources identified the man killed as Omar Abdul-Raouf Zakarneh, 18, and said he was killed by a shell not bullets.  His body was severely dismembered, the source added. Mohamed Saba'nah, an eyewitness describes the invasion:

"There were soldiers in the town, and the soldiers were screaming and knocking at residents' houses.  They demanded the residents to go out of their houses. Meanwhile, we heard clashes in town, and heard explosions.  I think they invaded the town without any target, but they were in the street and shot and killed the youth.  I do not think they targeted a certain house."

The Islamic Jihad movement said Zakarneh is a member of Al-Quds Brigade, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, and was killed as Israeli troops exchanged fire with resistance fighters who tried to force the soldiers out of the town. Clashes also erupted between soldiers and resistance fighters in the town after the army invaded its center.

The invasion was described as the most extensive since last year. At least 10 residents were injured and suffered moderate-to-severe injuries; most of the injured were children.  Soldiers marked several homes to be demolished, which raised fears among the residents that soldiers would start to punish the residents collectively.

In Hebron city south of the West Bank, Israeli soldiers invaded the villages of Doura and Kharsa, south of Hebron and took four residents prisoner on Tuesday morning.

In Kharsa village, troops stormed residents' homes and took Mohammad Talahma, 32, and Ahmad Itbesh, 24, to unknown locations. Soldiers also invaded Doura village, south west of Hebron and searched and ransacked a number of houses before taking Shawkat Al Amaira, 25, to an unknown location. In the city of Hebron, soldiers abducted Nafeth Al Amaira, 23, after surrounding his home and searching it.  Eyewitnesses reported that troops forced all families living in the residential building where Al Amaira's house was located, before searching the houses and ransacking their belongings.

Soldiers also attacked houses in the western neighborhoods of Hebron city, searched some of them and handed out military orders to some residents requiring them to go to Kfar Aztion military camp to be interrogated by the Israeli Secret    Security Services.
Later during the day an Israeli force attacked the Palestinian Legislative Council office in the West Bank city of Hebron and took one prisoner Tuesday afternoon. Mohamed Shapanah, the director of the office, was taken to an unknown location after troops stormed the office, searched it, confiscated files and ransacked the place.

Ali Sharai'a, a resident of Za'tra village, south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, was taken prisoner during an Israeli army invasion to the village on Tuesday at dawn.
Army vehicles entered the village, troops surrounded Sharai'a's house, searched and ransacked it, then took him to unknown location, eyewitnesses reported.

The Gaza Update

Palestinians are experiencing a humanitarian disaster on all levels, according to UNRWA. The director of UNRWA operations in the Gaza Strip, John Ging, insisted that the international community lift the boycott immediately. In the meantime, donors must secure more money for UNRWA so it may do its job, Ging said in a meeting Tuesday with delegates form the Palestinian ministry of refugees’ affairs in Gaza.The international aid boycott has put Palestinians in a difficult situation, leaving many jobless and hungry. Ging urged the international community to realize what is happening to the Palestinian people and address the worsening situation without any more delay. Even children are protesting in the streets against hunger.

Ging reminded his audience that poverty can be alleviated through education, however because of the boycott, the whole school system is on the verge of collapse.
 Monday night, Palestinian security sources reported that the Israeli air force shelled Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip causing damage but no injuries. The Israeli army claimed that the attack was carried out after resistance fighters fired homemade shells at the Israeli Negev town of Sderot. The army added that the Israeli air force targeted Qassam homemade shell launchers after one shell landed near Sderot.

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.