Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || File 3.35 MB|| Time 3m39s ||Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Thursday May 31st, 2007.
Palestinian resistance fighters escape an Israeli missile attack in Gaza and in the West Bank, two Palestinians are killed by Israeli army forces. These stories and more coming up. Stay tuned.
The Gaza strip
Palestinian sources reported that a group of Palestinian resistance fighters escaped a deadly Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza strip on Thursday. Medical sources reported that two men were only slightly injured in the attack. Al Nasser Salah Al Deen brigades, the armed wing of the popular resistance committees in Gaza, stated that one of their groups had been targeted. The brigades added that the fighters were trying to fire home made shells at Israeli targets when they were attacked by an Israeli war plane.
Israeli army sources confirmed the attack but said that they were only targeting some shells that were ready to be fired. No people were believed to be in the area. Early on Thursday morning a Palestinian home-made shell landed in open space in the Negev without causing any damage or injuries.
An Israeli fighter plane crashed on Thursday lunchtime during a training exercise near the Israeli costal city of Ashkelon. According to Israeli sources, the pilot ejected from the plane after its engine caught fire. Although the plane crashed into the sea, the pilot was safely retrieved by an Israeli air force rescue helicopter and was moved to a nearby hospital. Medical sources said that he escaped with only minor cuts and bruises.
The West Bank
Palestinian medical sources in Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank, reported on Wednesday night that two Palestinians were killed and several others injured, some seriously, in an assassination attempt carried out by the Israeli army. The attack targeted Sufian Qandeel, one of the leaders of the Al Aqsa brigades of Fatah, but he survived the attack. One of the killed residents was identified as Mahmoud Fatayer, while the second casualty remains unknown at the time of this report. Several bystanders were injured, some seriously, medical sources in Nablus reported
The attack was carried out by detonating a wired jeep which was supposed to be used by Qandeel. The group stated that the jeep was planted by Israel through a collaborator but the brigades were suspicious of it and informed Qandeel. The explosion caused considerable damage to surrounding houses and stores and caused an electricity blackout in the area. On Thursday morning, Israeli army forces stormed a number of villages near Jenin city, in the northern part of the West Bank, kidnapping five civilians.
A general strike was implemented on Thursday in east Jerusalem in protest against the killing of three Palestinians earlier this week. The strike was called for by Palestinian civil society organizations and the national and Islamic committees. Palestinian sources reported that all shops in East Jerusalem and nearby villages and towns would be closed today. For its part, the Israeli border police and army brought reinforcements into the city and surrounding villages. Checkpoints were also installed in an attempt to suppress any form of protest, local organizers stated.
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 __________and Ghassan Bannoura.