Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre www.imemc.org for Tuesday October 24th, 2006.
A resident of Beit Hanoun died on Tuesday of wounds sustained on Monday, while army invades West Bank cities and takes prisoners, these stories and more coming up stay tuned.
The Gaza Update
Riad Al Shenbari died on Tuesday of wounds he sustained during the Israeli army invasion on Monday to Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip. Medical sources reported that Shenbari sustained wounds in the head and chest and was in critical condition until he died. With Shenbari's death, the death toll in Gaza due to the Israeli military invasion has risen to 8 residents.
One day after Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Israeli tanks and armored vehicles surrounded Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, and bulldozed farmlands and hothouses in the area. The invasion was carried out under aerial coverage by Israeli war-jets and helicopters; soldiers closed the main road linking Beit Hanoun with the rest of the Palestinian areas and isolated it completely.
Meanwhile, under-cover forces in the Israeli army occupied several homes in the western part of the town and used them as military posts and monitoring towers. Also, soldiers shelled an area near the Agricultural College in Beit Hanoun apparently targeting resistance fighters. No injuries were reported. Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for firing two homemade shells at the Israeli Negev town of Sderot on Monday at night.
The brigades said that the shelling came after the army killed eight Palestinians in Beit Hanoun and injured at least 30 others on Monday. The brigades also said that its fighters fired mortar shells at a military bulldozer, and a Yassin homemade shell at a house that was occupied by under-cover forces of the Israeli army.
A group of unknown gunmen kidnapped Emilio Muratini, a Spanish cameraman working in Gaza for the Associated Press AP on Tuesday morning. Muratini was kidnapped while leaving his house in Gaza city to go to work. A group of unknown masked gunmen rushed towards him, forced him into a car that was parked nearby, and left taking him with them.
No Palestinian group has clamed responsibility for the attack. This is not the first time that journalists have been kidnapped in Gaza. The last case involved the kidnapping of two journalists working for the American FOX News TV in Gaza; one week later they were released unharmed.
The Palestinian government condemned the act. Dr. Ghazi Hamad, the Palestinian government spokesperson, called it illegal and explained that such acts only destroy the image of Palestinian people and their struggle for freedom. Dr. Hamad called upon the kidnapers to release the Spanish journalist immediately with no conditions, and said that the government will do its best to release him.
Palestinian security sources reported on Tuesday morning that the Israeli army has reopened the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip.
The crossing has been operating normally until now with no problems reported, however it was closed on Sunday trapping scores of Palestinians coming back from abroad where they were spending the Eid Al Fitr holiday with their families. 'Eid, which started on Monday, marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Hundreds of Palestinians were forced to spend it on the other side of the border due to the Israeli military operation, which has claimed the lives of eight residents in Beit Hanoun.
The West Bank Update
The Israeli army invaded the city of Jenin, in the northern West Bank and took prisoner two residents on Tuesday. Several army vehicles stormed the city and opened fire randomly at residents' homes. Soldiers also fired sound bombs at residents in the streets. Soldiers searched and ransacked residents' homes in the eastern side of Jenin and took Anas Attuom, 20 and Ahmad Sha'ban, 23, to unknown locations.
Elsewhere, the Israeli army invaded the village of Burqen, west of Jenin, took one prisoner and destroyed one house on Tuesday morning. Israeli troops and army bulldozers entered Burqen, surrounded the house of Ahmad Jaber Abu Al Huof, 19, took him prisoner and destroyed his uncle's house, eyewitnesses reported.
The Israeli army invaded the village of Abu Enjeem, south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem and took prisoner one resident on Tuesday morning. Nuo'man Salahat, 36, was taken by the army to an unknown location when troops stormed the village and surrounded his houses and searched it, local sources reported.
Thank you for joining us from Occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org brought to you by Caysha Cay & Ghassan Bannoura.