Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, for Wednesday December 6th 2006.|| Click here to Download MP3 file 5.1MB|| time:5m32s


Two Palestinians injured by Israeli gunfire in the northern Gaza strip, while in the West Bank one child was injured and scores taken prisoner by Israeli forces, those stories and more coming up stay tuned. 

The Gaza Update

Two Palestinian residents were shot and injured on Wednesday, when Israeli troops positioned on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip opened fire toward a group of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian medical sources reported that the two sustained moderate injuries, with both having been hit by multiple bullets.

In the southern Gaza strip, Palestinian security sources reported that the Rafah Border Crossing was reopened on Wednesday morning.  The Rafah crossing, which is the only way for Gaza residents to connect to the world, has been closed 80% of the time since January, according to a recent United Nations report.  The border was officially re-opened this morning after having been closed for several months since the last opening. A bus full of Gaza residents who had been stranded on the Egyptian side of the border for months, were able to cross into the Gaza Strip.

The sources added that the crossing will be open for Palestinian residents stranded on the Egyptian side to enable them come back to Gaza, and for humanitarian and medical cases.  The Israeli army indefinitely closed the Rafah border crossing when it started the "Summer Rains" military offensive in the Gaza strip six months ago.  Since then, the crossing has only been open a few days, and for limited hours, over the past six months.

The West Bank Update

One child was injured and four Palestinian men were taken prisoner by the Israeli army in the southern West Bank cities of Hebron and Bethlehem on Wednesday.  Rabi' Awad, 9, of Ithna village, near Hebron, was injured on Wednesday afternoon, by a rubber bullet in his leg.  The child was shot during an Israeli military invasion of his village, during which clashes broke out between stone throwing youth and the invading military force.

Israeli soldiers attacked the school boys and fired sound bombs and tear gas, to which the students responded by throwing stones at the army, eyewitnesses reported.  Earlier on Wednesday, Israeli troops invaded the city of Hebron and the nearby Al Arroub refugee camp, where they searched and ransacked a number of homes,  and took three Palestinians as prisoners, including a mother of five children.

Inass Shaheen, 33, was taken by Israeli troops from her home in Hebron city and transferred to an Israeli detention camp, along with Mohamed Abu Shikha, 16, and Mohamed Abu Ghazi, 21, from the Al Arroib refugee camp.

In Bethlehem today, Lou'ai Hlish, 27, was taken prisoner from his home in Aida refugee camp when Israeli troops invaded the camp and searched a number oh houses there, local sources reported.

Israeli forces also invaded the village of Kafer Dan, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and took at least 25 Palestinians prisoner, on Wednesday morning. Hundreds of Israeli soldiers and more than 30 armored vehicles attacked the village, then conducted a wide scale house to house search campaign.  Soldiers were spotted interrogating residents, searching and ransacking their belongings before taking some of them away, eyewitnesses reported.

Among those abducted were; Hisham Mer'e, 46, his brother Yassen, 28, Wasif Salah, 60, his sons, Bushara, 38, Nasser, 27, Ghazi, 33, and Mohamed, 28, Yahia Salah and his brother Shadi, Fawaz Abed, 39, and his brothers, Mahier, 37, and Mohamed, 35.  According to their families, the men were seized from their homes by Israeli soldiers and taken away to unknown locations.

As of this report, Israeli soldiers are still in the village searching and attacking homes, while military vehicles are blocking all entrances and exits to the town.

The Israeli army also invaded the city of Nablus on Wednesday at dawn, and took three residents prisoner.  Iyad Mishah, 46, Mohamed Hamdan, 21, and Nadir Al Zuwani, 21 were taken to unknown locations after Israeli troops took them from their homes in the city, local sources reported.

Recently, the Israeli army has intensified its presence in the West Bank, while nominally maintaining a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.  Nearly 1,000 Palestinians have been taken prisoner by Israeli troops since June.  Now, with Israel and the Palestinians engaging in a possible prisoner exchange deal, the Palestinians fear that Israel will try to use the abducted residents as a bargaining chip for the release of an Israeli soldier that was captured in June by Palestinian resistance groups.  Close to 10,000 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli detention camps, many of them being held without trial.


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 _________and Ghassan Bannoura.