Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || 3 m 0s || 2.75 MB || Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday February 13th, 2008.
Israeli tanks invade Gaza and injure one resistance fighter while Israeli troops in the West Bank kidnap 70 civilians. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.
The News Cast
Israeli tanks have rolled into the eastern parts of Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip, leaving one resistance fighter injured. Witnesses in the area said that at least five Israeli tanks invaded the vicinity of Gaza International Airport, an area which has suffered frequent Israeli attacks since the outbreak of the Palestinian Intifada [or ‘uprising’] in September 2000.
Witnesses added that today’s incursion directly followed last night’s incursion, which lasted just a few hours. The National Resistance Brigades of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed that one of their fighters was shot and wounded during a clash with the invading Israeli troops.
Meanwhile, the Izzeddin Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the ruling Hamas movement declared that their fighters shot a barrage of mortar shells towards the incoming tanks.
In the West Bank on Wednesday the Israeli army kidnapped 70 Palestinian civilians during a pre dawn invasion targeting several towns and cities. 40 of those kidnapped were from the village of Beit Ummer located near the southern West bank city of Hebron.
Israeli troops stormed the village of Beit Ummar at around 1:00am on Wednesday. Troops searched and ransacked scores of homes, with local sources stating that the army placed the village under curfew, not allowing families to leave their homes.
As the military operation continued, residents reported that, so far, the army had kidnapped 40 men from the village, their ages ranging from 18 to 45.
Israeli troops are still in the village and are not allowing Palestinian ambulances or journalists to enter the village, eyewitnesses reported. As a group of international human rights workers from the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) tried to enter the village, Israeli troops prevented them and declared the entire village a ‘closed military zone’.
Later in the day, six CPT workers managed to enter Beit Ummer, although troops prevented them from moving around. Troops later kidnapped the group and released them in a nearby Israeli settlement.
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 has been brought to you by Ghassan Bannoura and George Rishmawi.