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 Monday April 30th 2007.
The Israeli army abducts 17 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. A Palestinian public sector employee attempts suicide in protest at not being paid by the government. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.
The West Bank update
A group of illegal Israeli settlers attacked and ransacked Al Aqtab mosque and the nearby Islamic Waqf offices in downtown Hebron city in the southern West Bank on Monday. The settlers, under the protection of the Israeli army, stormed the two buildings and took the furniture out in the street, threatening to burn it during a coming Jewish holiday.
Israeli forces invaded several West Bank cities and kidnapped at least 17 Palestinian civilians at dawn. Ten of those 17 kidnapped were taken from the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The other seven were kidnapped when Israeli army troops attacked and searched homes in the West Bank cities of Tulkarem, Ramallah and Bethlehem.
Unknown gunmen opened fire at the house of a senior Palestinian security officer located in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Monday at dawn. The house belongs to Major Jihad Abu Amer, the director of the Palestininian preventative security force working in the city of Hebron. Palestinian sources reported that a group of unknown gunmen showered Abu Amer’s house with live rounds, causing considerable damage; they added that the firing targeted the bedrooms of the house.
Major Abu Amer told IMEMC that the attack on his house comes as part of the efforts of organized crime groups in Palestine to put a halt to the security plan Palestinian security forces are trying to enforce. He added that he and other officers implementing the Plan will continue their work despite attacks until law and order is restored in the Palestinian areas.
Scores of angry teachers stormed the ministry of education building in the central West Bank city of Ramallah at midday on Monday. The striking teachers, who had organized a protest in front of the ministry, entered the building when the education minister Dr. Nasser Ad Deen Sha’er refused to meet them. The protesters then tried to enter the minister’s office chanting anti-government slogans and demanding their overdue salaries.
The strike, called for by the Palestinian public school teachers union, began on Monday in response to the government’s failure to pay the overdue salaries as set out in the agreement reached with the union several months ago to end the ongoing strike.
The civil servant employees’ union announced on Monday that its members will implement a general strike starting this Wednesday. The Palestinian Authority has not been able to pay its employees since the USA, EU and Israel decided to impose an economic embargo on the Palestinian people after Hamas’s victory in the 2006 parliamentary elections.
The Gaza strip
A Palestinian public sector employee from the city of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza strip tried to commit suicide at midday by throwing himself from a window of the city municipality building. The act was in protest at not being paid by the Palestinian government.
The man, whose identity remains unknown, had not been paid for months by the municipality where he works and appeared to have lost all hope. The municipality stated that the man entered the office of the Khan Younis Mayor then opened a window and tried to jump. Friends and fellow employees rushed to the scene and after several hours of talking managed to convince him not to jump.
A Palestinian resident of Khan Younis city has reportedly been wounded after being abducted by unknown gunmen. Media sources at the Palestinian national security forces said that gunmen abducted Abdelnaser Abu Ammouna from Khan Younis and beat him severely.
Since late December 2006, the Gaza Strip has seen unprecedented internal violence involving Hamas-Fatah fighting, family feuds, robberies and attacks on residents’ property as well as abductions. Almost two weeks ago, the Palestinian interior ministry launched a 100-day security plan in a bid to end such lawlessness in the coastal region.
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 Kate Orwell and Ghassan Bannoura.