Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || 4 m 0s || 3.66 MBWelcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre,, for Monday February 18th, 2008.

A number of Palestinians were kidnapped in different areas in the West Bank, while a prisoner swap deal seems to be likely. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

The News Cast

Medical sources in Hebron reported that three Palestinian residents were taken to the emergency room in Hebron hospital with severe bruising. The two received bruising as a result of being beaten by Israeli soldiers, near the Abraham Mosque, also known as, the tomb of Patriarchs. Sources identified the two as Labib al-Fakhouri,17 and Yousef Misowadda,19.

Meanwhile, Hisham Abu Maria, 14, from the nearby town of Beit Omar received an injury to his left arm as an explosive device, believed to be left behind by the Israeli military, detonated close to where he was standing. Reports state that the suspicious device was discovered in an area which the Israeli army recently invaded and imposed house-arrest for several days.

Also in the West Bank, Israeli troops kidnapped four Palestinians including a female during invasions on Monday. Local sources reported that Tasbeeh al-Khayaat, 22 a student of engineering at an- Najah University in Nablus was kidnapped by Israeli soldiers and was moved to an unknown destination.

Nafha society, an organization defending Human and Prisoner Rights, said in addition to Khayaat, there have been six females kidnapped in 2008. The organization called upon the international community, especially those active in women rights, to take action to save the lives of at least 110 female prisoners in the Israeli jails.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military invaded the village of Thennaba near Tulkarem and kidnapped Abed al Hameed Bani Odeh, 18, and assaulted his mother Salha, 57. The latter was then taken to hospital for treatment for ‘moderate’ wounds.

Also in Jenin, the Israeli army invaded the village of Kufur Ra’ii near Jenin, kidnapping Isam Milhem, 22. Witnesses said he was handcuffed and taken to an undisclosed destination.

Meanwhile, talks over a deal to release Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit seem to be progressing, according to the Israeli radio.

There was a breakthrough when Israel loosened its position over ‘prisoners with blood on their hands’, a term set by a special ministerial committee, upon which Israel earlier agreed to release 44 prisoners on the Hamas’s list.

Talks on prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel have been mediated by Egyptian officials in a series of related meetings in Cairo since the Israeli soldier was captured in June 2006.

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