Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || 4.57MB || Time 5m 0sWelcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre,, for Tuesday March 13th, 2007.

The Israeli army invaded several parts of the West Bank and abducted seven civilians on Tuesday morning, and abruptly closed the Rafah crossing in the Gaza strip. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

The West Bank Update

The Israeli army invaded several parts of the West Bank and abducted seven civilians on Tuesday morning.

Houses in the northern West Bank city of Nablus and the nearby Balata refugee camp were attacked and searched during a dawn invasion. Israeli soldiers targeted these houses in the old city of Nablus and Balata refugee camp and abducted Ahmad Al Buz, aged 38, and Rami Jum’a, 23, and took them to an unknown detention camp.

Ribhi Amara, 49, was taken from his brothers’ house located in Tulkarem refugee camp, near Tulkarem city in the northern part of the West Bank. Local sources reported that soldiers searched and ransacked scores of homes in the city and the refugee camp; among the attacked houses were the homes of people who were killed during the current Intifada.

On Tuesday Israeli troops abducted four civilians in the southern West Bank, among them one child from the city of Hebron.

In the morning Hateem Al Hussini, aged 14, was seized from his home in the old city of Hebron and was taken to an unknown location, his family reported. Soldiers searched scores of houses in the old city of Hebron in addition to Al Hussini’s house, eyewitnesses reported.

Later during the day, Israeli soldiers attacked and searched residents’ homes located in Khilit Al Magharbi neighborhood in the western side of Hebron, then took three men to unknown locations. Among those abducted was Mustafa Al Qawasmi, aged 38, eyewitnesses reported.

Also on Tuesday afternoon, the Israeli army abducted one Palestinian civilian at a military checkpoint near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Sami Hussen, 41, from the village of Surda near Ramallah, was stopped at a mobile Israeli army checkpoint as he was leaving the city of Ramallah to travel to his village. Eyewitnesses reported that soldiers took Hussen’s laptop and cell phone, then handcuffed him and took him away.

Settlers’ attacks

A group of right-wing Israeli setters attacked a number of Palestinian workers in the old city area of Hebron city, in the southern West Bank on Tuesday at midday.

The Palestinian workers were renovating one of the historical old Palestinian houses located near the illegal Israeli settlement of Ibraheem Abino, in the old city, when the attack took place. The workers stated that the setters attacked them with stones and batons but reported no serious injures, and added that Israeli troops were in the area but did not intervene.

The building that is being renovated is an ancient house that belongs to Yousif Al Sharabati. Settlers tried to take the house by force several years ago but failed to do so, instead they demolished parts of it. The Reconstruction Committee in the city of Hebron sponsored the rebuilding and renovation of the house.

The Gaza Strip Update

On Tuesday morning Israeli authorities abruptly closed the Rafah crossing terminal, Gaza’s sole outlet to the outside world, after the crossing was reopened yesterday for three days. Wael Dahab, spokesman of the Presidential guards at the crossing, confirmed that the Israeli authorities prevented the European observers from gaining access of to the Rafah terminal.

The crossing has been run by European observers since Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip in September 2005. An elderly man died and seven other travelers were wounded last week during a crush after at least 5,000 Palestinians gathered at the terminal when it was reopened. Since June 2006, Israel has frequently closed the Rafah crossing terminal for alleged security reasons, restricting the movement of thousands of people and causing major disruption.


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 Jake Talhami and Ghassan Bannoura.