Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre for Monday November 20th, 2006.|| Click here to Download MP3 file 4.6MB || time:4m46s



The Israeli army invades Beit Hannoun in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, while in the West Bank, soldiers invade Bethlehem, injure 10 youths. These stories and more, coming up. Stay tuned.

The Gaza Update

Israeli army tanks and bulldozers invaded the southern part of Beit Hanoun town in the northern part of the Gaza Strip on Monday morning, after having partially retreated from the town last week. Tanks opened fire with heavy machine guns and artillery at the homes and cars of local Palestinians, causing significant damage.  At the same time, Israeli armored bulldozers began razing farming lands and animal sheds belonging to local farmers, eyewitnesses reported.

The invasion started early in the morning, according to local sources, who reported that tanks  are currently surrounding the southern part of the town and have enforced a total siege on this area of Beit Hanoun.  In the nearby Jabalia refugee camp, the Abd Al Haleem Al Khudary family survived a certain death when one Israeli tank shell hit the upper floor of their house during the shelling this morning.

Earlier, Israeli army tanks shelled Izbeit Abd Rabuh, a village to the east of Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Palestinian sources said that tanks fired four shells, which landed near residents' homes and farm lands, causing damage.  Medical sources said that medical teams and ambulances rushed to the area and found no injuries, but reported several cases of shock, especially among the children. In a related incident, the Israeli army apparently targeted a group of residents standing in the street east of Jabalia refugee camp with one missile; no injuries were reported.

Sunday afternoon, the Israeli Air Force fired two missiles at a vehicle driving near Salah Ed Deen Mosque in Al Zeitoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City killing one Palestinian and injuring at least nine others, Palestinian medical sources reported.

The targeted vehicle apparently belongs to fighters of Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas. One resident is in critical condition, the sources added.

The West Bank update

Monday evening, Israeli soldiers took resident Shareef Abu Hadeed prisoner after surrounding his house in the West Bank city of Bethlehem for several hours. Abu Hadeed is yet another "wanted" Palestinian, said to be an Islamic Jihad operative in the city. Troops fired rounds of live ammunition and concussion grenades at the house.

Soldiers detained Abu Hadeed's entire extended family of fifteen people in a single room of an abandoned building. A Reuters cameraman, identified as Ahmad Mizhir, 28, was injured; at least another two were taken prisoner, including Abu Hadeed's wife and his cousin.

Soldiers have held family members, including children and the elderly, since the early afternoon. According to one elderly family member, who was allowed to leave briefly, described the conditions as cramped and tense, adding that one child had fainted.

High school students leaving their schoolyard Monday afternoon reported that they were fired upon by Israeli soldiers currently deployed throughout downtown Bethlehem.  More than 10 boys were hit by Israeli bullets and are being treated in Bethlehem Hospital.

Dr. Jammal from Beit Jala Hospital

8 sec.

We have critical injuries due to exploding bullets, mostly children and in total we have more than 10 injuries that arrived to the hospital since the invasion started.
Two are in critical condition – one with a bullet in the head, the other with a bullet in the chest. Mohamed, an injured school boy, talked to IMEMC:

12 sec.
"I was watching the invasion in Manger Square when soldiers suddenly started to shoot at us; they shot randomly; soldiers showed no mercy to anyone."
Elsewhere in the West Bank, the army invaded Qalqilia, Hebron and Nablus and took 18 residents prisoner in pre-dawn invasions.
Thank you for joining us from Occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today for the International Middle East Media Center, brought to you by Caysha Cay and Ghassan Bannoura.