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 Tuesday March 27th, 2007.
Disaster hits the northern part of the Gaza strip- nine Palestinians killed in sewage flood. In the West Bank, Israeli army kills two resistance fighters. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.
The Gaza strip
Sewage water flooded the village of Um Al Nissirat in the northern part of the Gaza strip on Tuesday midday. At least nine Palestinian civilians were killed and scores of others injured, many more are still missing. It is reported that ground-level holding pools near the village containing raw sewage erupted, bursting dams and flooding the village and leaving at least 200 homes immersed.
Medical sources reported that so far nine residents of the village have been dead on arrival at Kamal Adwan hospital, and a countless number of people are injured. Palestinian rescue teams stated that the death toll may rise, since there are homes that are completely immersed with the residents still inside them.
The Palestinian environment ministry has issued a number of warnings to the local government offices and municipalities near the village in the past. They warned that due to the Israeli army’s continuous shelling of the sewage holding pools and the lack of maintenance, the dams around the holding pools would soon collapse- a threat that became a reality today.
Palestinian Interior Minister Hani al-Qawasmi rushed to the village to survey the damage, but he came under attack from angry gunmen. The gunmen fired shots over his head, local witnesses reported. Qawasmi was whisked to safety in a police car.
Concerning other issues in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical sources at Abu Yousef Al Najjar Hospital in the southern city of Rafah, reported on Monday night that five people were shot and injured during clashes between Hamas and Fateh gunmen.
The West Bank Update
Palestinian medical sources in the northern West Bank city of Nablus reported on Tuesday at dawn that two fighters of the Al Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fateh, were shot and killed by Israeli military gunfire during an invasion of the city. The sources identified the two fighters as Ala’ Ziad Al Ghaleeth, 26, and Mohannad Mreish, 24. The two were killed during a gun battle with the invading soldiers in the Old City area of Nablus.
Eyewitnesses reported that the two bled for several hours as medical crews could not reach them due to the heavy clashes in the area, and the extensive military presence.
The clashes took place as dozens of armored Israeli military jeeps invaded Nablus and the Old City and exchanged fire with resistance fighters.
The Israeli army did not report any injuries among the soldiers. They claimed that troops identified and targeted fighters who were involved in firing at the army and placing explosives in front of military patrols.
On Tuesday morning several other West Bank cities and towns were invaded by the Israeli forces, which searched homes and abducted seven Palestinian civilians. Palestinian sources reported that most of these abductions were made in the West Bank cities of Jenin, Ramallah and Nablus. In Tulkarem city, in the northern region of the West Bank, a Palestinian official was abducted by the Israeli forces today.
The town of Qabatiya, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, was also the scene of an Israeli army invasion on Tuesday morning. Local sources reported that an undercover Israeli army force invaded the town in an attempt to locate and assassinate local resistance fighters. The undercover force clashed with a group of local resistance fighters from the Al Quds brigades, an offshoot of Islamic Jihad. The fighters managed to escape unharmed; army sources reported no injuries among their troops.
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.