Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || 4 m 0s || 3.66 MB || Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday, May 20th 2008.
The Israeli army kills three Palestinians in Gaza, while in the West Bank, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair launches a package of measures designed to boost the Palestinian economy. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.
The News Cast
Israeli army attacks in Gaza on Tuesday left three Palestinians dead, including a 13-year-old child, a farmer and a resistance fighter. Medical sources stated that the three victims were killed in separate attacks.
Hamas’ armed wing, the Al Qassam brigades , confirmed that one of its fighters were killed Tuesday afternoon, and that three others were wounded during Israeli tank shelling in the eastern part of Gaza city.
Earlier in the day, two separate Israeli air strikes claimed the lives of two residents in the northern Gaza Strip. Medical sources confirmed that Majd Abu Aukal, a 13-year-old child from the city of Beit Lahiya, was killed instantly after being hit by rocket shrapnel.
Witnesses in Beit Lahiya said that an Israeli warplane fired at least one missile towards a group of people, killing the child and wounding at least one other man. A separate air strike killed a farmer, witnesses and medics said.
Today’s Israeli attacks came while Hamas officials are holding a new round of ceasefire talks with Egyptian mediators in Cairo. Israeli media reports hinted over the weekend that a large army offensive on Gaza was possibly in the works.
Meanwhile, in the West Bank, international investors participating in the Palestinian Investment Conference, taking place in Bethlehem between the 21st and 23rd May, began arriving today in the city. The conference is aimed at jumpstarting a process of integrating Palestine into the global economy. Arab, Israeli and Palestinian investors will all be participating.
Tony Blair, the Quartet committee for Middle East peace representative, launched today a package of measures designed to boost the Palestinian economy and aid preparations for statehood. The package includes Israelâ€™s agreement to ease some travel and trade restrictions on the West Bank. Four Israeli military checkpoints are to be removed, while over 500 will remain, dividing the West Bank into 64 separate areas.
On Monday, The Palestinian Network of local NGOs issued a statement declaring their belief that this conference was going to be used as a way to quote â€œnormalize the Israeli occupationâ€.
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 Aaron Lakoff and Ghassan Bannoura.