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Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre for Monday October 30th, 2006.

In the Gaza Strip Israeli helicopters opened fire at residents' homes and unknown Palestinian gunman kidnapped a Spanish aid worker, while in the West Bank the Israeli army continues to take prisoners. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

The Gaza Update

Unknown Palestinian gunman kidnapped a Spanish aid worker in Khan Younis on Monday, according to PA officials. The officials also reported that the man was forced into a yellow Skoda on the outskirts of Khan Younis town in central Gaza Strip.  The man, identified as Roberto Vila, 34, was leaving Khan Younis with coworker Celine Gagne, who said they had just visited a project for handicapped children when several men armed with Kalashnikov rifles stopped them.

Gagne said they told her to stay where she was while they forced Vila into their car and took off. Vila works for a Spanish charity group called Cooperation Assembly for Peace. This incident is the second time a foreigner has been abducted in two weeks. Last week, Palestinian gunman abducted an AP photographer, but released him 16 hours later.

The Israeli army helicopters opened fire at the residents' houses and farmlands in Biet Lahia town and Sheikh Zayid village, in the northern part of the Gaza strip on Monday morning. The targeted areas, as reported by local sources, were greenhouses and residential homes, damage were reported; several residents, including children, suffered anxiety attacks.

The West Bank Update

The Israeli military invaded Balata Refugee Camp in the West Bank city of Nablus on Monday morning. Eyewitnesses reported that five military vehicles stormed the camp and surrounded several houses before taking prisoners Mo'ath Al Massimi, 21 and his brother Mahmoud, 24, to an unknown location. Soldiers also searched and ransacked the houses of Hassan Dweikat, and Mohammad Zakaria, eyewitnesses added.

In the meantime, another force invaded the city of Nablus and searched a number of houses. During the invasion, a group of Palestinian resistance fighters from the Al Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fateh, targeted an Israeli army vehicle with a homemade road side bomb in the city. The army reported no injuries.

Elsewhere in the West Bank the Israeli army attacked and ransacked residents' houses in Hebron city, in the southern part of the West Bank, and the nearby village of Doura, taking four residents prisoner Monday morning. Tamer Al Shrawounah, 17, was taken prisoner by the army and moved to an unknown location after troops searched and ransacked his family's home located in Doura village near Hebron.
Also, troops stormed residents' homes in the northern side of Hebron city and took Amjad Al Bakri, 33, to an unknown location. His family reported that troops searched and ransacked the belongings of their house before taking their son prisoner.

Ghalib Al Sihli, 20, from Doura village, was taken prisoner during an interview with the Israeli Internal Security Services (Shabak) at Kfar Atzion military camp. His sister said that soldiers came to their house two days ago and issued a military order that required her brother to go for the interview. During the interview, soldiers took him prisoner and moved him to an unknown location. On Monday afternoon Izat Al Natsha, 22, was taken prisoner after troops searched and ransacked his family home in Hebron city, his mother reported.
Israeli troops chased and attacked Palestinian workers, south of Al Thahria town, near the city of Hebron on Monday morning. Several army Hummer jeeps chased and attacked scores of Palestinian workers who were trying to cross into Israel through the fields south of Al Thahriyya, seeking jobs.

On Monday morning the Israeli army invaded Al Obaidiyya village, east of Bethlehem city, in the southern part of the West Bank and took one resident prisoner. Local sources reported that an Israeli force invaded the village and searched several homes before taking Atta Shanaita, 19, to an unknown location. Also, troops issued military orders to three residents informing them that they must go interview with the Israeli Internal Security Services in the Kfar Atzion military base.

The Israeli soldiers at the Salem Israeli military court attacked with batons Aymen Qandil, 34, from Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin, and took him prisoner while he had been attending a hearing session for his brother on Monday morning. Qandil, who works as a security officer in the Palestinian authority forces in Jenin, attended the court session with his mother. His brother Mohamed said his mom fainted after seeing her son being attacked by the soldiers. Mohamed added that four of his brothers, including Qandil are currently imprisoned in Israel and one was killed during an invasion to Jenin earlier this year.

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.