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 Wednesday May 23ed, 2007.
The Israeli Army has continued to shell the Gaza strip and attack civilians in the West Bank. These stories and more coming up. Stay tuned.
The Gaza strip
The Israeli military today, under the cover of air strikes, implemented an operation in the Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. Israeli forces stormed the area, surrounded a house and kidnapped 7 civilians from the Kdeh family, who they claimed were members of Palestinian resistance groups. Eyewitnesses stated that the Israeli Army imposed a comprehensive siege on the area for more than three hours, terrifying and harassing local residents.
Local media stated that Israeli special force sneaked into Khaza’a town, on the eastern side of Khan Younis, and kidnapped the civilians. After the operation, the Israeli army realized that the kidnapped civilians were not part of any resistance group and released them. In other news, Israel has continued its days-old bombardment of the Gaza Strip and there are no signs that this policy is nearing an end.
Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported on Wednesday at dawn that at least seven residents, including one pregnant woman and one child, were injured in an Israeli shelling to the northern part of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army confirmed the attack and claimed that it targeted a building used by resistance fighters to store ammunition and explosives. The army also claimed that the “stored explosives” caused a secondary explosion. An Israeli military spokesperson claimed that the building was believed to be used by Hamas fighters. On Tuesday evening, the Israeli air force also shelled several targets in the Gaza Strip, injuring at least three residents.
The West Bank
Israeli forces invaded the northern West Bank city of Nablus, Asker refugee camp and the nearby Tull village on Wednesday morning, searching scores of homes and kidnapping six civilians. Omer Ishtahiah, the Mayor of Tull village, reported that troops searched and ransacked the homes of many residents, forcing families out of their homes and beating a number of them. Also on Wednesday, the Black Panther resistance group, linked to the Fatah movement, announced that they attacked Israeli military vehicles in the West Bank City of Jenin with two home-made shells.
Later an Israeli military force, stormed the building of the Nafha Society in Jenin. During the invasion, troops kidnapped Khalil Ragheb, 38, and moved him to unknown area. The military also attacked the Reform and Change office in the West Bank city of Tubas, causing damage and confiscating documents and equipment. Reform and Change is the parliamentary bloc of the Hamas movement. In Hebron city on Wednesday, Palestinian sources reported that Israel forces attacked a school the early hours of the morning, confiscating much equipment contained within.
Amnesty International, the renowned human rights group, has slammed the actions of the Israeli administration in the Palestinian Territories throughout 2006, stating that “Palestinians in the Occupied Territories suffered wide-ranging human rights abuses and humanitarian conditions deteriorated significantly due to military and punitive economic actions by Israel, cuts in international aid and growing violence between rival Palestinian political factions.” In the period covered by the report, approximately 650 Palestinians died as a direct result of Israeli military action.
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.