Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || File 4.57 MB|| Time 5m0s ||Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday May 9th, 2007.
In Palestine Today the Israeli army injured four civilians, nine were injured during a family fight in the Gaza strip, in the West Bank, the army continues to attack civilians and destroy property. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.
The Gaza strip
On Wednesday, an Islamist group in Gaza claimed responsibility for the abduction of BBC reporter Alan Johnston, who has been held hostage in Gaza for the past several weeks. The group, which is known in Gaza, said it has sent out a video tape to the Al-Jazeera Arabic satellite channel, and that it demands the release of Palestinian prisoner Mahmoud Abu Omar, known as Abu Qutada, who has been imprisoned in London for linkage to Al-Qae’da in Europe.
In a second audio tape sent to Aljazeera this morning, the group stressed that any attempt by Palestinian authority forces to release Johnston will be counterproductive.
Nine Palestinian civilians were injured in the southern Gaza strip city of Rafah during a family fight on Wednesday. Palestinian medical sources reported that a fight broke out between two rival families in the city leading to the injury of nine residents. One of them, Abdullah Al Hashash was critically wounded after he was stabbed in the back.
On Wednesday, the Israeli army shot and wounded two Palestinian residents in eastern Gaza, as army tanks rolled about 500 meters into the northern Gaza Strip. Palestinian medical sources confirmed that one Palestinian resident received gunshot wounds to his legs after the Israeli army opened a hole in the barbed-wire fence on the eastern Gazan-Israeli border.
Meanwhile, witnesses said that the Israeli forces, including tanks and bulldozers rolled about 500 meters into Palestinian-owned lands in evacuated Israeli settlements close to Beit Lahiya town in northern Gaza. The Israeli army denied that such an incursion was intended as a precursor to a ground offensive in the region.
In the meantime another Gaza resident was shot and injured by the Israeli army when tanks opened fire on Palestinian homes located near Al Mintar commercial crossing east of Gaza city. Mohamed Hajaj was injured in the leg and moved to Al Shifa hospital in Gaza city, medical sources reported.
Later during the day Palestinian medical sources reported that one civilian was shot and injured by unknown gunmen in down town Gaza city at midday on Wednesday. Security sources reported that police forces found Ahmad Moshtahi blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back in a street in southern Gaza city late Tuesday night. The man was missing his clothes, 12 000 NIS and phone cards worth 13 000 NIS.
The West Bank
On Tuesday at dawn, dozens of Israeli military vehicles and jeeps invaded Kufur Ra’ey village, south west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin and kidnapped four residents who are believed to be members of the Islamic Jihad.
Israeli troops, stationed at one of the Military checkpoints near Salfit in the western West Bank, were seen searching through mobile phones of the Palestinian passengers without any respect for their privacy. Eyewitnesses said that the soldiers asked the passengers if they had any images and songs that glorify the Palestinian resistance and Hezbollah, and searched through the phones looking for such photos and songs. Khaled Ma’ali, a Palestinian journalist, documented the action of the soldiers stationed at Iskaka military checkpoint for three days in a row.
The Israeli army invaded the village of Al Walaja west of the West Bank city of Bethlehem and demolished a chicken coop after attacking the villagers on Wednesday. A massive Israeli army force and one bulldozer stormed the village surrounded a chicken coop that belong to Mossa Abd-Raboh. When residents tried to stop the army, the army attacked them with batons and forced them away.
The village of Al Walaja was annexed by Israel to Jerusalem, but the Israeli authorities did not give the residents Jerusalem Identity Cards. Now the army attack and demolish homes in the village under the pretext that they illegally built without necessary permits. Israel has rarely given building permits to Palestinians living in east Jerusalem and nearby Palestinian villages since it occupied the area in 1967.
The Israeli army invaded the village of Beit Ola and Tafuha, west of the West Bank city of Hebron and kidnapped one civilian and ransacked some homes on Wednesday. Local sources stated that Mo’aied Al Saraheen, 27, was taken from his home when troops searched and ransacked it. He was taken to an unknown location, his family reported. During the search witnesses said that Israeli soldiers intentionally destroyed people’s belongings. Witnesses added that troops detained some youths in the streets and questioned them before letting them go.
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 Eliza Sprout and Ghassan Bannoura.