Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Thursday January 4th, 2007.|| Click here to Download MP3 file 4.87 MB || Time:5m 19s || (Click here for Italian )
Five killed during afternoon invasions by the Israeli army into Bethlehem and Ramallah cities in the West Bank, while one Palestinian Resident was Killed, Ten others are injured During Infighting in Gaza, these stories and more coming up stay tuned.
The West Bank Update
A large Israeli force invaded the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday afternoon accompanied by bulldozers, a number of military vehicles and border police, and backed by Helicopters, Palestinian sources reported. Troops opened random gunfire and tear gas canisters forcing the residents who were doing their shopping away from the area.
Palestinian resistance fighters and rock throwing youth, clashed with the invading Israeli troops who took position in the Manara Square, in the city center, causing serious damage. Bulldozers also damaged a large number of cars parked at the roadsides. The source said four Palestinians were killed and at least 20 were wounded in the clashes, five of which were described as serious. One man who was killed was identified as Yousef Abdul Qader, 23.
Soon after the army withdrew, thousands of residents took to the streets in a large demonstration. Palestinian medical sources reported that during the invasion, the ambulances and medics were unable to reach the occupied area.
Al-Jazeera Satellite channel said Fadi Al-Arouri, a journalist, was wounded by Israeli troops. Israeli army sources said the military operation in Ramallah is targeting a Palestinian resistance fighter from Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigade.
Media sources reported that prior to the military invasion; undercover Israeli agents entered Ramallah in bid to arrest claimed wanted Palestinians, however they were revealed by local residents. Apparently, the undercover agents called for backup which brought this large force to the city. Palestinian sources said the target of this operation was wounded, but was not captured by the Israeli army.
In a separate incident, at around 4:30 on Thursday afternoon at least 15 Israeli military jeeps invaded the city of Bethlehem in the southern part of the West Bank, injured a Palestinian man and abducted him. Local sources told IMEMC that the invasion targeted a neighborhood on the southern side of the city. Soldiers surrounded a number of houses and are currently searching them.
Rami Aby Khido, a resident of the neighborhood told IMEMC from inside his surrounded house that soldiers invaded the area and opened fire at a man critically wounding him, then abducted him and have taken him to an unknown location. He added that soldiers forced all the men in the neighborhood to go down to the street to be searched while other troops searched the houses.
Local sources identified the injured man as Mohamed Abu Zied, originally from Jenin city in the northern part of the West Bank and a resident of Bethlehem. Rami added that clashes took place between local youth with stones and soldiers who are firing live rounds and sound bombs back at the youth, no injuries reported. The army left after two hours of invading the city, eyewitnesses concluded.
The Gaza Update
One Palestinian resident was killed Thursday and at least 10 others were wounded during internal clashes in various parts of the Gaza Strip.
Dr. Moa’wiya Hasaneen, head of emergency department of the ministry of health in Gaza confirmed that Essam Sbaih , 26, was killed and four others were wounded in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalya. Dr. Hasaneen said also that six others were wounded in the city of Deir Elbalah, in the central Gaza Strip, two of whom were moderately injured.
Witnesses in Beit Lahia said that Sbaih was killed near the house of senior preventative security officer Mohammad Ghareeb in the town of Jabalya.
Local sources in the central Gaza Strip reported that six Palestinian mourners were also injured during the funeral procession of three preventive security officers who were killed yesterday during infighting in Khan Younis city Witnesses said that members of the interior ministry executive force fired on the funeral procession, leading to the injury of six mourners.
The Palestinian national and Islamic factions have issued a statement, calling on conflicting parties to save Palestinian blood and point their guns at the Israeli occupation instead. Internal clashes resumed a couple of days ago in northern Beit Lahiya city, resulting in the killing of five Palestinian residents including a woman. Infighting resumed just two weeks after all Palestinian factions, mainly Fatah and Hamas, agreed on a ceasefire to foil a possible civil war.
Thank you for joining us from Occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org brought to you by Jane Smith and Ghassan Bannoura.