Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, for Monday December 4th 2006.|| Click here to Download MP3 file 4.8MB|| time:5m12s



Israeli forces attacked several areas in the West Bank on Monday at dawn and took a number of residents' prisoner injuring two, these stories and more coming up stay tuned.

The News Update

A mother and her child were injured when troops stationed at one of the military checkpoints inside the old town of the southern West Bank city of Hebron stopped them and attacked them. Rida Al Rigbi, 45, and her son Saleh, 16, sustained fractures and bruises all over their bodies after being attacked by the soldiers; they were moved to the city's hospital for treatment where the injuries were described as medium, medical sources reported.

Soldiers also attacked and searched residents houses in Hebron city and the nearby Al Samou'a village before taking Shaker Qafisha, 23, Iyad Gahisha, 32, from Ithna village, and Mohamed Al Badaren 20, from Al Samou'a. Residents said that troops forced families out of their homes in a very violent way during the search, and did not allow them to keep the children inside due to the very cold weather. 

Scores of Al Aroub refugee camp residents near Hebron, suffocated after inhaling gas fired by Israeli troops during an invasion to the camp on Monday.  Israeli army vehicles invaded the refugee camp, while soldiers fired live rounds and tear gas into residents' houses causing several injuries.

Troops invaded several areas in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem and took one prisoner after searching and ransacking a number of residents' houses. Mohamed Fanoun, 50, a politburo member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a member of the Palestinian National Council, was taken prisoner from his house in the Bethlehem city center on Monday at dawn after troops surrounded it and searched it, before taking him to an unknown location, eyewitnesses reported.

Meanwhile another force invaded Deheisha refugee camp and searched and ransacked several homes there. Residents reported no arrests.

Israeli army bulldozers started on Monday morning to bulldoze farmlands, and barred school students from leaving their school in Al Khader village south of Bethlehem.

Troops and army bulldozers stormed the village at around ten on Monday morning, and started to bulldoze and uproot farmlands to make way for a road and underground tunnel, to separate the Palestinian used roads from the Jewish only roads, villagers reported. In the afternoon, soldiers surrounded the local high school for boys, near the bulldozed farmlands, and barred the students from leaving the school at the end of the school day.


Bassam Ighnem, the headmaster of the school, told IMEMC in a phone call that two hours later, after short negotiations and a dispute between the teachers and the soldiers, the students were allowed to leave the school. Soldiers left the village around 3:00 PM leaving behind more than 60 Dunums of destroyed farm lands.

In the northern West Bank, troops took two prisoners from the city of Tulkarem in a morning raid of the city. The soldiers attacked residents' homes in Nur Shams refugee camp to the eastern side of Tulkarem, and took Mohamed Masharfa, 24, and Mohamed Abu Al Khaber, 40, to unknown locations. Their families said the soldiers also took computers and some of the family's belongings during the search.

Israeli media sources reported that the Israeli army took 15 residents prisoner during morning invasions to several West Bank cities. According to those sources two were taken in Tulkarem, six in Ramallah city, four in Bethlehem and three in Hebron city.

From the six taken in Ramallah, Mohamed Allan, 21, his brother Hamza, 20, and Jihad Zaky, 21, were all taken prisoner by the army when troops invaded Al Safa village near Rammallah, then searched and ransacked several houses, eyewitnesses reported.

However, these arrests came shortly after the Israeli diplomatic-security cabinet supposedly decided on Sunday that Israeli forces are no longer allowed to take prisoners from the West Bank, without approval from either the GOC Central Command or the commander of the Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territories, Israeli media sources reported.

The Israeli government claimed that this decision is "aimed at reducing tensions in the West Bank that could disrupt the fragile cease-fire in the Gaza Strip." Regardless of those claims the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Monday that the Israeli army opposes expanding the ceasefire to the West Bank, claiming that Palestinian resistance factions have no interest in stopping attempts to launch attacks from the West Bank.


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 Oliver Eacott and Ghassan Bannoura.