Click here to download MP3 File || 4.57 MB || Time 5m 0s Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday February 27th, 2007.
Israeli troops attack farmers trying to protect their land near Bethlehem, and in the Gaza strip an Israeli war-ship opened heavy gunfire at Palestinian fishing boats, these stories and more coming up stay tuned.
The West Bank update
On Tuesday, Israeli army bulldozers started to destroy lands and uproot trees that are privately owned by Palestinian residents of Um Salamunah village, south of Bethlehem in the southern part of the West Bank. Around midday the local farmers non-violently attempted to stop the army bulldozers from destroying their land and their only source of income; the soldiers responded heavily.
Israeli troops fired tear gas, sound bombs, and rubber coated bullets at unarmed farmers and even used rifle buts to attack them. Two people were injured, medical sources reported. Moreover, another two villagers were abducted. Rashed Takatka, the Mayor of the village and his son Mohamed, aged 22, were both taken to unknown detention camps.
The Israeli army is trying to confiscate the land by force in order to continue building the illegal wall on the village lands. Um Salamuna stands to have 700 dunums of agricultural land annexed and 270 dunums confiscated for the route of the Wall. Ten villages surrounding Bethlehem stand to lose 70,000 grape vines and 1000 olive trees in total.
Israeli forces abducted four Palestinian civilians from villages located near Hebron city in the southern part of the West Bank on Tuesday morning, Palestinian sources reported.
Israeli media sources reported that the Israeli army abducted nine Palestinian civilians from several parts of the West Bank on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers stationed at a military roadblock east of Jerusalem abducted a Palestinian worker on his way to work in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning.
Also on Tuesday morning, the Israeli forces invaded the village of Jayous, east of Qalqilia city in the northern part of the West Bank.
The Israeli forces that invaded northern West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday morning left the city on Tuesday morning. No official statements regarding the status of the military offensive have been released by the Israeli army.
Residents of Nablus woke up on Tuesday morning to see the tanks rolling out of their city after two days of a violent military operation, nicknamed by the Israeli army as ‘Hot Winter’. The military offensive targeted the city center, the old city the nearby refugee camps. Hundreds of homes were attacked and families were forced outside while soldiers vandalized their belongings, eyewitnesses reported.
During the invasion, the Israeli military besieged hospitals and attacked health clinics in the old city. The Palestinian medical relief services’ clinic was one of those attacked; Dr. Ghassan Hamdan, the director of the PMRS in the city reported that the Israeli offensive left one civilian dead, at least 30 injured, and saw 150 abducted.
The Isaeli army stated that the military operation was aimed at targeting Resistance fighters. Palestinian sources in the city stated that none of the abductees are resistance fighters, all are civilians. Residents of Nablus fear that the offensive is not over and that the city will be witnessing more military invasions in the coming few days.
Tanks and army bulldozers left the city but were deployed around it, where all Palestinian civilians leaving or entering Nablus are forced to stand and wait, sometimes for hours, to be searched by the Israeli soldiers, local sources concluded.
The Gaza Update
Palestinian sources reported that an Israeli war-ship opened heavy gunfire at Palestinian fishing boats and civilians at Tal Al Sultan beach, on the Rafah city coast in the southern Gaza strip on Tuesday morning. The sources reported no injuries, but the boats sustained damage.
In a separate incident, Israel army tanks stationed east of Rafah city opened fire at Palestinian farmers working on their lands; no injuries were reported.
The Palestinian resistance fired two home made shells at Israel military targets in the northern part of Israel near the Gaza strip. Al Quds Brigades, an offshoot of the Islamic Jihad movement, claimed responsibility for the attack, and said that it comes in response to the continuous Israeli army attacks on the Palestinian people.
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 Polly Bangoriad and Ghassan Bannoura.