Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre,, for Thursday December 21st 2006.|| Click here to Download MP3 file 4.3MB|| time:4m32s


A Gaza fisherman died of wounds inflicted earlier this month, while the Israeli army attacks a Charitable society organization's offices in Bethlehem, these stories and more coming up stay tuned.

The Gaza Update
A fisherman died on Thursday morning due to wounds he sustained earlier this month when Israeli navel gun boats opened fire at a group of fishermen near the Rafah beach south of Gaza strip.  Medical sources reported that Hamdan Barhum, 23, died on Thursday at dawn in the Gaza city hospital due to wounds he sustained on the 11th of December.
A Palestinian home made shell landed Thursday morning on a Palestinian home, wounding three Palestinians including a pregnant woman in the northern Gaza strip.

The shell landed on the home belonging to the Al Massri family, lightly injuring a pregnant woman, causing her to miscarry, and it also injured two of the woman's children. The Palestinian home made shells have no guidance systems and many fall into the sea or back into the Gaza Strip.

The Al Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, have announced their responsibility for the launching of several homemade shells at the Israeli town of Sderot on Thursday morning. The brigades said that the attack came as a response to the recent Israeli army killing of three of its members.

The Israelis attacked several west Bank cities on Tuesday and killed one Fatah member in Nablus while in another attack, Israeli troops conducted near Jenin, two Fatah activist were killed on Wednesday morning.

Israeli media sources reported that the Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz on Thursday criticized Israel's continued policy of restraint that the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been calling for.

The Israeli army continued to attack the Palestinian area in the West Bank and Gaza strip even after the Palestinian factions announced a truce with Israel and at least 6 residents were killed, among them a 10 year old child who was killed in the army attacks and more than 50 were abducted by the army during that time.

The West Bank Update

A large Israeli force invaded the West Bank city of Bethlehem in the early hours of Thursday morning and arrested one resident from the Deheisha refugee camp, Palestinian security sources reported. Israeli troops invaded several homes, searched them and left them ransacked, eyewitnesses said.

Troops took Mohammad Ibrahim Salama 35, prisoner and then transported him to an unknown location.

Meanwhile, another Israeli military force invaded the Islamic Charitable society in the adjacent town of Beit Sahour, the same source reported. Eyewitnesses said, at least six military vehicles surrounded the building and soldiers destroyed the door and broke into the building. This is the fourth time that the charitable organization has been assaulted by the Israeli army according to Abu Mohammad, the director of the organization.

 In visiting the facility, it was clear that this location is mainly a child day care center and kindergarten, which is obvious from the painted pictures of Mickey Mouse, visible when approaching the building.

Several rooms were invaded and damaged before the Israeli army decided to leave the location. Upon inspection of all the rooms that the Israeli army destroyed, it was clear that the rooms were used as classrooms and for administrative functions.  Several cabinets, used for storage, were ransacked and hastily reassembled while the operation was ongoing.

The Israeli army cordoned of the area surrounding the facility, before conducting the assault.  Several individuals were inside the building during the assault and were herded into a single room and guarded while the soldiers destroyed doors, damaged equipment and left the areas in disarray. No arrests were made.

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 Jane Smith and Ghassan Bannoura.