Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday December 20th 2006.|| Click here to Download MP3 file 4.67MB|| time:5m 6s
Two Palestinians were killed in Gaza while two were killed in the northern part of the West Bank, these stories and more coming up, stay tuned.
The Gaza Update
Two Palestinian residents were killed early on Wednesday and at least six others wounded in renewed gun battles between militants in Gaza.
Local medical sources reported that two unidentified people were killed and seven others wounded in armed clashed in the Alsabra neighborhood of Gaza City, just a few hours after all parties, under Egyptian mediation, agreed late Tuesday night to halt all forms of tension in Gaza and to immediately dialogue to resolve their differences.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, agreed yesterday evening to work on reaching a national unity government through open talks, after both Fatah and Hamas failed to conclude such a government over the previous 9 months.
Recent clashes in Gaza came after Palestinian President Abbas called for early presidential and legislative elections, while the Hamas-led government refused. The Palestinian PM announced an official refusal of that call in a televised speech yesterday.
The West Bank Update
The Israeli Army stormed the village of Siliet Al Harthia near the northern West Bank city of Jenin and killed two Palestinians on Wednesday morning.
Local Palestinian sources reported that an Israeli army convoy invaded the village, surrounded a house in the center of the village and clashed with the besieged resistance fighters located inside the home, killing two of them.
Medical sources identified the two Palestinians killed as Hussam Al Aifie and Salah Sawaftah, both were said to be fighters for the Al-Quds Brigades, which is the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad movement. During the gun fight, an additional two activists were also injured and then abducted by the invading Israeli troops.
This is the third assassination attack Israeli forces have conducted in the Northern West Bank areas in less than 24 hours. On Tuesday morning, Israeli undercover agents killed one Palestinian resistance fighter in Nablus city and another undercover force killed an additional resistance fighter in Tulkarem city on Tuesday afternoon.
An Israeli settler ran over an elderly man Wednesday midday in Al Khader village south of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem. Medical sources said that Ahmed Sbeih 72 sustained fractures and cuts all over his body; he was taken to Beit Jala public hospital. Eyewitnesses said that Sbeih was deliberately run over as he was returning home in the village.
Moreover, The Israeli Army invaded several cities in the West Bank and abducted eight Palestinian men on Wednesday at dawn including a Palestinian government official.
Palestinian sources reported that a ten year old girl, Du'a' Abd Al Qader, was shot and killed by an Israeli sharpshooter while playing near the illegal Israeli wall in the eastern side of Tulkarem city in the northern part of the West Bank on Tuesday evening.
Abd Al Qader was playing with her friends on a farm that is overlooked by an Israeli watchtower located on the illegal wall surrounding the city. A sharpshooter from that watchtower opened fire at the girls, critically wounding Abd Al Qader and injuring her ten year old friend Rashah Shalabi, eyewitnesses reported.
Eyewitnesses added that when Palestinian medical teams arrived at the scene they were stopped by Israeli soldiers who surrounded and sealed off the scene and were forced to return to the city after the Israeli soldiers threatened to shoot them if they came any closer leaving the girl to bleed to death.
Meanwhile, the army brought an Israeli ambulance and then moved the two girls to an Israeli hospital where Abd Al Qader died as a result of her gunshot wounds. With the killing of Abd Al Qader, the death toll of Palestinians killed by the Israeli army on Tuesday has stopped at three.
Thank you for joining us from Occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today for the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org brought to you by Mike Mullenix and Ghassan Bannoura.