Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || File 3.66 MB|| Time 4m0s ||Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Thursday April 26th 2007.
Israeli army continues to attack civilians in the West Bank, while implementing a small scale operation in the Gaza Strip. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.
The Gaza strip
A United Nations report said Thursday that Israel has kept the Rafah crossing terminal closed for half of the scheduled opening days between 4th and 17th of April. The Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which circulated the report, considered the current opening of the crossing the best since the start of the year.
Since June 25th last year, Israel has frequently closed the Rafah terminal crossing within a series of military actions, following the capture of Israeli soldier Gil’ad Shalit.by Palestinian resistance groups.
Palestinian sources reported late on Wednesday night that a Palestinian fighter died of wounds he sustained in November 2006. Omer Abu Shari’a, 26, was critically injured when an Israeli war plane shelled his car. Abu Shari’a is said to have been and activist of the Aqsa brigades, the armed wing of Fatah.
Earlier on Wednesday night several Israeli military vehicles invaded Soufa area, south-east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
One Palestinian was shot and injured in an Israeli attack in Jablalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Soldiers advanced for a distance of 200 meters into the area and started bulldozing and uprooting Palestinian agricultural lands. The invasion was carried out by three tanks and several vehicles.
The West Bank
Israeli troops invaded several West Bank cities and kidnapped at least 15 Palestinian civilians on Thursday. The kidnapping was concentrated in the cities of Nablus, Ramallah and Bethlehem.
The army’s claim was the usual, that the kidnapped are ‘Wanted Palestinians’. In the meantime, Palestinian sources said that all those who were taken by the army are civilians. The definition of ‘Wanted Palestinian’ is not clear due to the Israeli authorities’ policies of collective punishment.
Also on Thursday, the Israeli army detained a group of Palestinian shepherds for several hours south of Nablus city, in the northern part of the West Bank.
Local sources reported that a group of Palestinian shepherds were herding their sheep on farm land that belongs to Qariot village south of Nablus. Soldiers came from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Aeli and detained the shepherds for some time. Troops then took the shepherds to the settlement and held them there for four hours. The shepherds were released after a group of international solidarity and human rights workers intervened and managed to convince the soldiers to release the shepherds.
Palestinian resistance fighters targeted two Israeli army vehicles in two different attacks in the central and northern parts of the West Bank on Thursday at dawn.
The fist attack took place south of Jenin city in the northern part of the West Bank, where resistance fighters detonated a homemade bomb near Israeli military jeeps patrolling the area.
Also on Thursday at dawn, another group of Palestinian resistance fighters targeted an Israeli army vehicle at the Atara Bierziet road near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. The group also hurled three hand grenades at the vehicle.
The Israeli army did not report any causalities in either of the attacks. Abu Ali brigades, the armed wing of the popular front for the liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed responsibility for the two attacks. The group stated in a press release that it will continue the resistance against the Israeli occupation and that it rejects any claims of truce deals with the army.
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.