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Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday January 24th, 2007
In the Gaza Strip one person is shot and killed by troops while two others are abducted. The Israeli Army invades Bethlehem area, abducting 16 youths. These stories and more coming up. Stay tuned.
Gaza strip Update
Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported on Wednesday morning that Israeli soldiers stationed east of Dir Al Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, shot and killed one Palestinian youth. They also shot and wounded two residents and took them to an unknown destination.
Dr. Khalid Al Najjar, head of the Al Aqsa Hospital stated that the boy, identified as Mahran Zakariyya Abu Al Maseer, 17, died of a gunshot wound in his stomach.
Palestinian medics said that the army handed them the body of Al Maseer, and informed them that two other people were injured, and had been taken prisoner.
When the incident occurred, the three civilians were standing near a dumpster east of Dir Al Balah, local sources reported; military bulldozers were present in the area and were bulldozing lands. The Israeli army claimed that the three were shot while trying to sneak into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile in the northern Gaza Strip, four Palestinians were shot and wounded on Wednesday midday during renewed internal clashes in Beit Hanoun, medical sources reported. Witnesses said that the infighting ensued after members of the interior ministry’s executive force; a Hamas affiliated force, blockaded the houses of two leaders of the Fatah affiliated Aqsa brigade for several hours.
Many local residents including Fatah supporters, gathered around the houses. The forces then opened heavy fire, wounding four of them, witnesses added.
Infighting in Gaza has been taking place frequently since Palestinian factions have failed to reach an agreement on a national unity government after a Hamas-led government was installed last January. The death toll of such clashes has climbed to at least 330 including women and children, according to local sources.
The West Bank Update
The Israeli army, backed up by at least seven armored vehicles, invaded the West Bank town of Biet Fajjar south of Bethlehem on Wednesday before dawn. Soldiers gathered dozens of both elderly and young men in the street and assaulted them physically and verbally.
During the invasion sixteen youths were abducted and taken to an unknown location.
Several temporary roadblocks were installed at the main entrances of the town.
The Israeli Army also invaded the West Bank town of Azzun east of Qalqilia on Wednesday and fired rounds of live ammunition at homes, abducting two people after injuring one. One of the houses in question belongs to Tahseen Ali Swidan; his son was injured and fled the scene before the soldiers could succeed in abducting him.
The soldiers abducted two others from the town; they were identified as Abed Sayel Swidan, 22, and Ibrahim Ali Hussien, 18. They were taken to an unknown location.
Meanwhile, in Jerusalem's Old City, Israeli police abducted a 16 year old boy after he was attacked by a settler. Sources reported that the boy was taken from his home by police when the attack on him escalated into a fight.
Dozens of armed settlers accompanied by five Israeli Army jeeps entered the northern West Bank village of Awarta, this morning claiming that Jewish shrines were buried in the area. According to sources in the village, the group made their way to the village cemetery, broke in and started vandalizing headstones. They maintained their claims that holy shrines were buried under the cemetery.
Apparently this is not the first time that the village and its cemetery have been attacked by such a group.
During the incident settlers also attacked and damaged houses and parked cars in the area, sources stated.
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 Jake Talhami and Ghassan Bannoura.