Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre for Thursday November 16, 2006.|| Click here to Download MP3 file 5.66MB || time:6m11m


The Israeli army carries out several air strikes overnight in the Gaza Strip, injures five, while in the West Bank the army kills one and takes prisoners. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

The Gaza Update

The Israeli Air Force carried out several air strikes late Wednesday night until Thursday morning, targeting a number of houses that belong to families of resistance fighters; five civilians were injured; some seriously. The attacks came shortly after the Palestinian resistance groups resumed their homemade Qassam shell firing at Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip, which have killed one Israeli woman and injured several others. Palestinian resistance fighters resumed the shelling in retaliation for the Israeli military offensive "Autumn Clouds" that claimed the lives of 95 civilians in the Gaza Strip, mainly in Beit Hanoun.

The house of Issam Madi, a member of Al Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, was the first to be targeted. Located in Al Shobra refugee camp in Rafah City in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, the home was leveled to the ground late Wednesday night. Five civilians were injured, some critically; the shelling also damaged neighboring houses. Around the same time, the house of Abdullah Abed Rabbo from Islamic Jihad was targeted by jet fighters. His house was also completely destroyed. The family escaped just minutes before the deadly air attack after receiving a phone call from the army ordering them to leave or die. 

Later during the night, the house of Mohamed AL Sharafi, from the Popular Resistance Committee, located in Al Shat'e refugee camp west of Gaza City, was hit with several missiles fired by an Israeli warplane; the house sustained collateral damage and neighboring houses were also damaged, but no injures were reported. The family said that the army called them and ordered them to leave only minutes before the air strike. 

Israeli jet fighters continued to target houses during the early hours of Thursday morning. The fourth home to be targeted is located in Tal Al Za'tar area in the northern Gaza Strip; it belongs to Nahro Mas'uod, a leader of Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. The house was leveled to the ground and again, the family barely escaped with their lives. They reported that the army called them a few minutes before the attack, giving them time only to run for their lives leaving all their belongings behind. With this house the Israeli air strikes subsided for the time being. The Israeli government gave the army the green light to expand its military attack on the Gaza Strip while Palestinian resistance groups vowed to continue the resistance.

The West Bank Update

Mohamed Salamah Ihmedan, 25, was shot and killed during an Israeli military invasion to Al Ein refugee camp in Nablus city, in the northern part of the West Bank, on Thursday at dawn. Eyewitnesses reported that a convoy of Israeli army vehicles and one bulldozer stormed the camp while another battalion surrounded it.  Soldiers attacked residents' houses and turned a number of them into military posts. Ihmedan, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was shot and killed while standing on the balcony of his house in the camp, eyewitnesses told the Palestine News Network.  Medical sources said that he received fatal wounds and died on the spot.

In the meantime, troops conducted a wide scale house-to-house search campaign to residents' homes in Al Ein refugee camp; soldiers ransacked the houses and damaged family belongings, according to local sources.

Elsewhere, in the nearby Balata refugee camp, an Israeli army force attacked the camp, searched some houses and clashed with local resistance fighters; no injuries were reported, but there was damage to residents' property was reported.

Israeli forces reportedly discovered a man carrying a ready-to-use explosives belt in Tzahal Square in Jerusalem. Israel Radio reported on Thursday, that the man, identified as Ashraf Hanani, 25, belonged to a cell of resistance fighters from the West Bank city of Nablus. Soldiers also claim to have found another explosives belt in the Palestinian National Security building in the West Bank city of Ramallah after conducting a search there. According to laboratory tests, the belts contained high explosives unable to be detected by metal detectors.
The Israeli army invaded Qabatiya Town, south of Jenin City in the northern West Bank on Thursday at dawn and took prisoner five residents. Army vehicles and troops stormed the town from different directions and searched and ransacked scores of residents' homes before leaving and taking the five to unknown locations, eyewitnesses reported.
Israeli forces are still surrounding the house of Mohammad Al-Zaitawi, a leader with Al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah after invading the West Bank city of Tulkarem on Thursday morning. Eyewitnesses reported that troops surrounded the house in the morning and have been calling for Al-Zaitawi to surrender. Until now, Al-Zaitawi has not surrendered and the army continues to attack his home from time to time throughout the day, firing live rounds and tear gas at it.
The Israeli army invaded Anabta Village, east of the West Bank city of Tulkarem, and took one resident prisoner and abused another two on Thursday morning.
Troops stormed the village, searched and attacked residents' homes and took Nidal Abu Ali, 20, to an unknown location after searching his house. Troops attacked and hit two residents after searching a small hotel located between the village and the city of Tulkarem.

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