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Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Thursday March 5th, 2007. Nonviolent demonstration in Hebron protesting the Israeli army measures in the old city, while in the Gaza strip separate incidents of exchanges of Hamas-Fateh gunfire are reported.These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.
The West Bank update
The Palestinian Popular Committee in the southern West Bank city of Hebron organized on Monday midday a non-violent protest against the Israeli army measures of restricting Palestinian residents' movement in the old city. The protest was held at an Israeli army checkpoint that closes Al Shuhada Street, only allowing illegal Israeli settlers to use it.
Demonstrators shouted slogans in Arabic, Hebrew and English, such as "No peace with settlements" and asked the army to stop its actions and allow the owners of the houses and shops in the old city to access their property. This protest is part of a campaign by the Committee aiming at forcing the army to allow the Palestinian residents of Hebron access to old town of their city.
The Israeli army abducted two Palestinian teens on Monday morning from the village of Burka, north of Nablus city in the northern part of the West Bank. Soldiers invaded the village and searched a number of homes then abducted Mohamed Mas'ued and Shabib Mohamed, both aged 18.
They took them to an unknown detention camp, local sources reported. Another Palestinian civilian was abducted by Israeli troops at Tayasser checkpoint east of the northern West Bank city of Tubass on Monday.
Israeli troops stopped the man and searched him, then blindfolded and handcuffed him. After some time he was forced into an army vehicle and was taken to an unknown location, eyewitnesses reported. No name has been issued at the time of this report. On Monday midday, Palestinian resistance foiled an Israeli army attempt to invade the village of Qabatiya near the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
Local sources reported that a group of resistance fighters from Al Qudes brigades, an offshoot of the Islamic Jihad and Al Nasser brigades, the armed wing of the popular resistance committees, clashed with the invading Israeli troops and forced them to leave the village.
Also on Monday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza issued a report stating that 13 Palestinians including one woman were killed, while 188 others were injured by Israeli army gunfire during the month of February in 2007. The report mentioned that the number of the injured people that fell into the 3 to18 age category was 70.
In effect, the ratio of injured children stands at 37.2 % of the total figure of casualties. In the report, the Ministry of Health stated that due to the clashes that erupted between Israeli troops and Palestinian civilians protesting the excavation near the Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, 23 civilians were hospitalized while hundreds others were treated on site.
The report referred to the military offensive codenamed "Hot Winters" that the Israeli army conducted in Nablus city in the northern part of the West Bank, which lasted nearly all of last week. The report stated that Israeli forces intensified the bombings of residents' homes in the Old Town of Nablus.
150 houses and a shop were damaged during the operation, according to the report. The Gaza Update On Monday, sources in the Gaza Strip reported several different incidents of exchanges of gunfire between Hamas and Fateh affiliated individuals in the area.
Security officials stated that on Monday, Hamas gunmen engaged in a daytime gun battle with Fateh-allied security officers in Gaza City after a disagreement over who had control of a nearby training compound.
One Fateh member was injured. In what are described as the worst bouts of internal violence since rival Palestinian factions agreed to form a unity government in Makkah last month, it is reported that unknown gunmen fired at the house and car of a senior security officer. Shots were also fired at a police headquarters, and police returned fire, officials said.
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.