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,, for Thursday May 24th, 2007.

The Israeli army has killed a Palestinian farmer in northern Gaza strip . While in the West Bank, Israeli forces invaded several cities and kidnapped a Palestinian Minister along with thirty officials. These stories and more coming up stay tuned.

The Gaza strip
Two fresh Israeli air strikes completely destroyed a building previously occupied by the Hamas-formed executive force in Gaza. Initial medical reports stated that four people were injured. A second strike hit another Hamas post in the town of Deir Elbalah in the central Gaza Strip. The building was reported destroyed in the attack.

The Israeli army this morning killed a Palestinian farmer in northern Gaza, medical sources reported. Officials at the Kamal Edwan hospital in the northern Gaza Strip city of Beit Lahiya stated that a gunshot was fired at the farmer by Israeli army boats, just 400 meters away from the security fence that separates Gaza and Israel.

Today’s incident is a part of an ongoing Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip, in which 36 Palestinians have been killed, including seven children, and approximately 120 injured. Yesterday night, Israeli warplanes struck a money exchange shop, a storehouse and a car. The air strike on the car injured three bystanders, while the car’s passengers managed to escape.

The West Bank
Israeli troops invaded on Thursday at dawn several Palestinian cities and towns and kidnapped the Palestinian Education Minister along with at least thirty mayors, legislators, officials and Hamas supporters. In the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, troops broke into the house of education minister, Nasser Ed-Deen Al Sha’er, searched his house and took him to an unknown destination.

The Israeli army also kidnapped at least 10 other civilians in several parts of the West Bank. The Palestinian coalition government immediately called on the international community to place sanctions on Israel after the abductions. This is the second time the Israeli military has targeted senior Palestinian officials following last summer’s capture of the Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit in the Gaza strip – an incident which was marked by the detainment of at least 45 Palestinian officials and law makers.

The bulldozing of the land in Artas village near Bethlehem has temporarily stopped after an Israeli court ruled a preemptive halt of work in the village on Wednesday and Thursday. Mr. Khaled Al-Azza, head of the popular committee against the wall and settlements, told IMEMC that the court ruling was made after the villagers filed a complaint against the Israeli company which is building a sewer on the villager’s land for the settlement of Efrat without their permission,. The case was raised as the villagers decided to protest the illegal land confiscation and attempted to replant trees uprooted by bulldozers on Sunday morning.

Also on Sunday, Israeli troops assaulted farmers and other Palestinians who came to Artas village to demonstrate solidarity with the local residents. Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Minister of Information, attended the demonstration.

The Israeli security guards who accompany the bulldozers at work opened fire on Monday at a group of villagers who attempted to reenter onto their land. The villagers were accompanied by a number of other Palestinian and International activists. The guards also opened fire at the journalists who were there to cover the nonviolent protests. No injuries were reported.

Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Media Center,, brought to you by George Rishmawi and Ghassan Bannoura.