Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || File 3.67 MB || Time 4m 0s || Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday January 15th, 2008.
The Israeli army invades the eastern Gaza strip and kills 17 Palestinians, while settlers attack farmers in the West Bank, these stories and more coming up stay tuned.
The News Cast
Palestinian sources reported that the Israeli army military offensive in the eastern part of the Gaza Strip that started on Tuesday at dawn has come to an end, leaving 17 Palestinians dead, and at least 10 injured. The offensive started when army tanks and bulldozers invaded the Al Zaytona area near Gaza city backed by army helicopters. Al Qassam brigades the armed wing of Hamas announced that among those 17 killed were 13 fighters from the brigades who were clashing with the invading Israeli tanks. The brigades added that among those killed was Hussam al Zahar the son of the prominent Hamas leader Dr Mahmoud Al Zahar.
According to the local residents army tanks continued to shell residents’ homes and resistance fighters while army bulldozers uprooted trees and destroyed farm land. Medics stated that Israeli troops opened fire at them while they were evacuating the injured from the area of the invasion. In related news an Ecuadorian worker in an Israeli Kibbutz located near the southern Gaza Strip was killed when Palestinian resistance fighters clashed with the Israeli army stationed there. Israeli sources confirmed the death of the Ecuadorian worker and said that the gun battle lasted for several hours near the Israeli base of Kitsfom near the southern Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank meanwhile, on Tuesday at midday in the southern West Bank city of Hebron a group of radical armed settlers attacked a Palestinian house and set fire to it while the Israeli Army kidnapped the owners of the house. Palestinian sources reported that a group of settlers from Beit Hadasa located in the central part of Hebron city attacked the nearby Palestinian home and set fire to it. When the owners of the house along with their neighbors tried to put out the fire Israeli troops attacked them, beat them up and forced them away from the house leaving it to burn.
Also today near Hebron Israeli Army bulldozers have uprooted 3000 trees that belonged to farmers from the village of Beit Ola south of Hebron city. The farmers who own the land stated that troops arrived early in the morning and uprooted the trees, when farmers tried to protect the trees the soldiers opened fire at them forcing them away.
On Tuesday a group of armed settlers and Israeli troops attacked Palestinian farmers and a journalist in Bili’n village located near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. The farmers stated that they were working on their land located near the illegal Israeli wall that is being built by Israel on the village land when a group of armed settlers and Israeli soldiers attacked them and confiscated a tractor owned by the farmers.
Twelve Palestinians were kidnapped on Tuesday at dawn when the Israeli army invaded the northern West Bank city of Nablus and nearby village.
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. This report brought to you by Caroline Jones and Ghassan Bannoura.