Listen to the audio from the MP3 Player on the right column. || Click here to Download MP3 file 5.5 MB || time: 6m 0s

Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre for Wednesday October 25th, 2006.

The Israeli air force fires at dawn several missiles at a target in the northern part of the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank the army invades villages near Bethlehem city and takes 11 residents prisoner. These stories and more coming up stay tuned.

The Gaza Update

The Israeli air force fired several missiles at a target in the northern part of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday at dawn. No injuries were reported. Israeli military sources claimed that the air strike targeted fighters attempting to fire homemade shells. Palestinian security sources reported that a military Apache fired at least two missiles at an open area close to Hammouda Gas Station, east of Beit Lahia.

The attack was carried out while ground forces invaded Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Palestinian resistance fighters fired homemade shells at the Israeli Negev town of Sderot, and at Israeli forces invading areas around Beit Hanoun. No injuries were reported.

The Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for firing homemade shells at Sderot and mortars at an Israeli military base in the Eretz area, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Also, the Al Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, fired one homemade shell at the Israeli Negev town of Sderot.

Moreover, fighters from the Al Quds Brigades and the Al Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibility for detonating a troop carrier east of Beit Hanoun. The army, on the other hand, shelled several civilian and open areas in the Gaza Strip, particularly in the northern part. Among the shelled targets were houses and agricultural lands, local sources reported.

A senior Palestinian official reported that gunmen who abducted a Spanish photographer working with the Associated Press in the Gaza Strip, freed him hours after abducting him. Tawfiq Abu Khousa, a spokesperson of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said that the kidnappers released Emilio Morenatti, 37, to Palestinian security agents.

Morenatti was abducted by unknown gunmen as he walked out of his apartment in Gaza City. The gunmen forced him into their vehicle and drove away. He was heading to an Associated Press car where the agency driver and translator, Majed Hamdan, was waiting for him. Hamdan stated that four masked gunmen grabbed his phone and key and ordered him to run away after pressing a gun to his head.

No party claimed responsibility for the abduction. Earlier on Tuesday, Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya, said that he instructed Interior Minister, Sa'id Siyam, to do everything possible to secure the release of the photographer.

The West Bank Update

Three residents injured on Wednesday when an Israeli military jeep hit a vehicle in the central area of the Jordan valley. Two of the injured were moved to a nearby hospital and the third is still trapped in the civilian vehicle and flipped over. Rescue attempts continue at the time of this report.

Three residents injured by settler and army attacks in Al Khader village near the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Wednesday. Local sources reported that a group of settlers along with an Israeli army force attacked residents while picking their olives from their lands located near the illegal settlement from Efrat, which was build on village land. Alos on Wednesday The Israeli army invaded the villages of Beit Fajar and Obadiya near Bethlehem and took 11 residents prisoners. In Beit Fajar village, south of Bethlehem city, the army stormed the village and searched and ransacked a number of residents’ homes before taking six prisoners.

In Obadiya village, east of Bethlehem, army vehicles and troops attacked residents’ homes, forced families outside and searched them before taking five residents prisoner, including three brothers, all were taken to unknown locations.

The Israeli forces invaded the West Bank city of Jenin and the nearby Qabatiya town on Wednesday morning and took prisoner two residents. Troops and army jeeps stormed Qabatiya town, opened fire randomly at residents and searched some houses before taking Jihad Nazal and Majdi Alaounah to unknown locations. In the meantime, another force invaded the city of Jenin, searched and ransacked a number of houses and fired sound bombs at residents in the streets. The soldiers left the city without taking prisoners, local sources reported.

The Israeli army invaded the West Bank city of Tubas and took prisoner one resident on Wednesday morning. Ommar Fukaha', 19, was taken to an unknown location when troops searched and ransacked scores of residents' homes in the city. Troops and army jeeps left the city but redeployed around it and installed military checkpoints on main roads leading to the city.

An Israeli court near the Jalilee in Israel has decided to allow Dr. Aziz Duwaik, the head of the Palestinian legislative council, to receive medical attention on Wednesday. Dr. Duwaik must have tests done before surgery to remove kidney stones, his lawyer Sadi Younis stated, adding that the medical care in the Majido detention center where Dr. Duwaik was detained is very bad. Dr. Duwaik was taken prisoner by the Israeli army four months ago during an invasion to the West Bank city of Rammallah as part of a campaign that targeted 22 Palestinian law makers mostly from Hamas.


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.