Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || File 2.47 MB|| Time 3m0s ||Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Monday May 14th 2007.
The Palestinian interior minister walks out as Fatah-Hamas fighting worsens; in the West Bank the army injures two civilians. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.
The Gaza update
The Palestinian interior minister, Hani Al-Qawasmi, resigned on Monday from his post after a period of deadly infighting between the rival Hamas and Fatah parties in Gaza. Al-Qawasmi’s resignation was announced officially in a press conference in front of his house in Gaza City. The interior minister cited as a reason lack of cooperation by the rival parties with respect to the implementation of his security plan, which was initiated only last week.
Asked by IMEMC whether there had been a lack of cooperation by the security bodies since his plan was launched, the outgoing minister maintained “actually we’ve found there to be good intentions on the part of all the security bodies; the problem doesn’t lie with them”.
Al-Qawasmi, an independent academic, joined the coalition government after heated debates between Hamas and Fatah over who should take the important position of interior minister. Fatah had insisted that the minister should be a strong personality in order to enforce order. Al-Qawasmi first handed in his resignation in February, though at the time the cabinet rejected it.
Over the past couple of days, 7 Palestinians have been killed and more than 30 others wounded in violence which flared up between Hamas and Fatah supporters after a Fatah member was shot dead in northern Gaza. The latest was on Monday morning, when two Palestinians were killed just hours after the two parties agreed to a ceasefire and a halt of all provocative actions in the street.
The West Bank
A massive Israeli force invaded the northern West Bank city of Nablus and the nearby Balata refugee camp on Monday morning, injuring two civilians. Israeli military vehicles rolled into the city, some of them taking over the centre and searching homes while others attacked houses in the nearby Balata refugee camp, witnesses reported.
During the invasion the Israeli troops fired live rounds and sounds bombs randomly into residents’ homes injuring two, medical sources stated. The army left the area after several hours without making any arrests but damage to residents’ homes was reported.
Last week a pregnant woman was injured and her unborn baby killed when Israeli troops opened fire on residents’ homes during an attack on Al Ein refugee camp near Nablus. 29-year-old Maha Al Katoumi was 7 months pregnant when she was shot in the abdomen.
Palestinian sources reported that a large Israeli force attacked and searched Palestinian homes in the southern West Bank city of Hebron and nearby Halhol on Monday morning, kidnapping one civilian.
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.