Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || 3.66MB || Time 4m 0sWelcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Monday march 26th, 2007.
One Palestinian fighter dead in the Gaza strip and in the West Bank settlers reoccupy an evacuated settlement, these stories and more coming up stay tuned.
The Gaza update
One resistance fighter from the Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, was announced dead on Monday morning in Khan Younis city in the southern Gaza Strip.
The Brigades issued a press release stating that Hassan Yousif, 38, a field leader of the Brigades was killed during a resistance operation on Monday. The press release did not include any information about the resistance operation.
Later during the day, Israeli tanks stationed near the Karni commercial crossing east of Gaza City shelled a civilian Palestinian truck driving on the main road between the city and the crossing. The truck was completely destroyed, but no injuries were reported. Dr Moawiya Hassanein, the director of the emergency and ambulance department in the Palestinian ministry of health in Gaza, stated that medical teams arrived at the scene but found no injuries.
The West Bank update
Under the protection of the Israeli army, scores of Israeli settlers entered the area of the illegal settlement of Homesh, which was evacuated in 2005 during the Israeli disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip and some illegal settlements in the West Bank.
Homesh settlement was located west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin and was spread around the Palestinian-owned land. The effort to repopulate this area of the West Bank with illegal settlers was organized by several right-wing Israeli groups.
According to eye witnesses, scores of settlers and their families marched into the settlement site chanting slogans in hostility against Islam and the prophet Muhammad. The settlers waved orange flags (orange is the color of the late Gaza settlement council’s flag) with ‘Israeli State’ written on them.
There is an intensive Israeli military presence surrounding the area, allowing settlers into the illegal settlement while preventing access to Palestinian residents of the area. According a main organizer of the march speaking to Israeli Army Radio on Monday, ‘There is a nucleus of 30 families who intend to live there. All the others are [coming to] encourage, to help, to celebrate, and we hope that there will be more than 5000.’
Only 1,000 Israeli police officers and border police and 500 Israeli soldiers will try to block access to the site, in the knowledge that this will mean many of the estimated 5,000 participants reach the land.
In a related incident, settlers who came to participate in the reoccupation of the Homesh settlement attacked a 12 year old Palestinian sheep herder working in the area, and forced him to leave.
Also on Monday, The Israeli army invaded several parts of the West Bank and abducted at least 14 civilians, among them one child. The abductions were focused on the cities of Ramallah in the central West Bank, where three civilians were taken, and Hebron city in the southern West Bank where seven were taken.
On Monday midday a massive Israeli army force invaded the northern West Bank city of Jenin, then surrounded the American- Arab University, two Palestinian youths were abducted. Clashes erupted when students from the university responded to the invading troops with stones, no injures were reported.
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 Oliver Eacott and Ghassan Bannoura.