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, www.imemc.org, on Wednesday March 21st, 2007.
One Palestinian killed as army invades Nablus. In the Gaza strip two Palestinian Authority security officers are injured by unidentified gunmen, these stories and more to follow, stay tuned.
The West Bank update
On Wednesday morning the Israeli army invaded the northern West Bank city of Nablus and the nearby Askar refugee camp, killing one civilian and abducting at least 5 others.
On Wednesday at dawn more that 40 armored Israeli army vehicles stormed the Askar refugee camp, east of Nablus. During the invasion Israeli troops opened fire and shot continuous rounds at the residents’ homes; clashes erupted between the invading force and local resistance fighters. Fadi Abu Kushek, aged 23, was shot and killed during the clashes local sources in Nablus reported.
In the meantime, Israeli troops invaded and ransacked homes in Askar refugee camp, and in the city of Nablus. In Nablus troops attacked several houses in the downtown area and abducted five civilians, before exiting the city. All were taken to unknown detention camps.
Also on Wednesday at dawn the Israeli army invaded several West Bank towns and cities and abducted at least 13 Palestinian civilians.
Shortly before noon Israeli troops invaded the village of Obaidiya near Bethlehem, reinforced by armored vehicles and jeeps. They surrounded the home of Daoud Rabai’a, 29, and demanded that he turn himself in. Rabai’a is said to be an activist for the Al Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah.
Troops fired sound bombs and live rounds into the house in an attempt to force Rabai’a to surrender. Israeli soldiers also fired sound bombs at journalists who arrived at the scene, forcing them away. No injuries were reported.
Later in the day, an army bulldozer demolished part of Rabai’a’s home.
Israeli troops released an army dog into the house. The dog attacked Daoud’s sister, Yosra Rabai’a, biting her in the arm, as she was standing outside the house. Medical sources at Beit Jala hospital reported that Yosra suffered moderate damage to her arm, but medics have managed to stop the bleeding.
Despite being repeatedly told by Rabai’a’s family that he was not in the house, troops entered the partially-demolished building and fired several rounds of live ammunition. They found no one there and began searching neighboring houses.
Also on Wednesday at midday Palestinians from the village of Umm Salamuna and neighboring villages near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem protested against the Israeli bulldozers which are currently razing their land for the illegal Israeli separation Wall.
In honor of Mother’s Day, Palestinian and international women marched in solidarity, leading the demonstration. Previously, villagers held a rally and blocked an Israeli settler road in protest against the Wall which will annex 700 dunams (700,000m²) to the Israeli settlement of Efrat and destroy 270 dunams (270,000m²) of the village’s land.
The Gaza Update
Palestinian media sources reported that unidentified assailants, in an unmarked car, opened fire early on Wednesday at a Palestinian security post in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, wounding at least two security personnel. The sources said that a presidential security guards’ camp was hit with several bullets in a drive-by shooting, wounding Ahmad Alyazouri and Abdelaziz Awad, while rendering a third security serviceman unconsciousness. No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the shooting.
Palestinians have inaugurated their first-ever unity government, in a bid to put an end to internecine infighting between Hamas and Fatah groups that have claimed the lives of hundreds of Palestinians and wounded hundreds more. Hamas and Fatah have reportedly recently been involved in small-scale renewed clashes in different parts of the Gaza Strip, despite February’s ceasefire deal agreed upon under the auspices of the Saudis in the Saudi Arabian holy city of Mecca.
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.