Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre,, for Monday January 22nd, 2007|| Copy and Paste this link…7.mp3Israeli army invades several West Bank areas and abducts Palestinians. Rafah border crossing is reopened in the southern Gaza strip for several hours. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

The West Bank update

Israeli forces invaded the village of Yatta, near Hebron city in the southern part of the West Bank on Monday morning, abducted two Palestinian men and attacked another three. Issa Al Imor, 26, and Ahmad Murr, 25, were abducted by Israeli troops and taken to an unknown location when soldiers attacked and searched their families\’ homes in the village.

Eyewitnesses reported that during the invasion, soldiers also attacked the house of Khalil Musif, 45, and forced him outside along with his two sons Khaled, 24, and Thaer, 22. The three were attacked and hit with rifle butts and batons by the soldiers detaining them; they were released shortly thereafter with cuts and bruises. Soldiers were apparently looking for a family member called Khairat, who they claimed is on their wanted list, the Musif family reported.

An Israeli army force invaded the village of Al Ezariya to the east of Jerusalem and abducted one Palestinian man on Monday morning. Soldiers attacked and searched the home of Ja\’far Al Asmar, 22, then abducted him and took him to an unknown military detention camp. The Ja\’far family reported that soldiers destroyed some furniture and beat up their son during the abduction.

The Israeli army invaded Balata refugee camp in the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Monday morning and searched houses.

Local sources reported that more than 10 army vehicles and one bulldozer stormed the Balata refugee camp, surrounded and searched the house of Ibrahiem Hanoun and a factory which makes carton boxes. Soldiers also forced some neighboring families out of their houses and interrogated them for some time.

Eyewitnesses reported that Israeli soldiers fired live rounds and sound bombs randomly at residents\’ houses, medical sources reported no injuries. Residents told IMEMC that the Israeli army troops are invading the city and nearby refugee camps on a daily basis.

The Gaza Update

Palestinian sources reported that the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza strip was reopened on Monday morning and will stay open until five PM.

The sources added that the crossing is open only to allow the Palestinians trapped on the Egyptian side of the crossing to enter the Gaza strip.

The Israeli army opened the crossing for a short time two weeks ago to allow the Palestinians who traveled from the Gaza strip to participate in the Muslim Hajj in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to come back to their homes in Gaza.

Last Week, Lieutenant General Pietro Pistolese, head of the third party EU monitors at Rafah border crossing, urged the Israeli army to open the Gaza-Egypt border to the hundreds of Palestinians waiting on either side.

Despite promises to allow third party control of the crossing point, Israel has imposed a military closure on the border 80% of the time since June 2006, and barred the third party observers from reaching their posts.

Several people have died while waiting to pass, and the Red Cross has had to administer basic foodstuffs and medical care to travelers, many of whom are journeying to get medical supplies that are not available to them in Gaza.

Thank you for joining us from Occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Media Center, brought to you by Polly Bangoriad and Ghassan Bannoura.