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,, for Wednesday June 18th, 2008.

As Israel and Hamas agrees on truce deal in Gaza the Israeli army kidnaps 8 civilians from the West Bank, these stories and more coming up stay tuned.

The News Cast

The Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad of the care taker government welcomed on Wednesday the truce deal between Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Israel.

Fayyad made his comments during a speech in the opening of the Development of Small Projects conference being held today in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Israel has announced late on Tuesday that it accepted the truce deal with Hamas that was mediated by Egypt. Fayyad welcomed the truce and said that it will relieve the residents of Gaza that have been living under the Israeli siege since June 2007.

The Egyptian-mediated ceasefire stipulates that Hamas, which controls Gaza since June 2007, will halt the fire of homemade shells into Israeli territory, in exchange for Israel lifting the 12 month-blockade and ceasing all military attacks against the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, stated on Tuesday that it is too early right now to say that Egypt brokered a truce deal between Israel and Palestinian resistance groups in the Gaza Strip. Barak added that Israel will examine the possibility of reaching calm but cannot determine how long this deal, if fully achieved, will last.

According to the deal, the truce will take effect on Thursday morning for six months and will only include the Gaza Strip and not the West Bank. Both Hamas and Israel have announced that they agree on the conditions.

Meanwhile in the West Bank the Israeli army has kidnapped 8 Palestinian civilians during pre dawn invasions targeting several cities and towns on Wednesday.

Army sources said that all those kidnapped have political affiliations with Palestinian political factions.

Meanwhile Palestinian sources said that those kidnapped are civilians, the sources added that the kidnappings took place in the West Bank city of Hebron, and in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, in addition to Nablus and Jenin in the northern part of the West Bank.

The army said that those kidnapped were taken to detention camps for questioning and gave no further details.


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 Jessica Hulsey and Ghassan Bannoura.