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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Monday, December 21st, 2009

The Israeli military attack areas in the Gaza Strip and kidnap civilians in the West Bank. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

The News Cast

Twenty Israeli armored military vehicles, accompanied by Apache helicopters, invaded the al-Ghoul area in northern Gaza early Monday morning.

Residents also reported Israeli shelling in the town of Beit Hanoun, also in northern Gaza. No injuries, but damage to residents’ homes was reported.

The invasion comes after Israeli troops allegedly exchanged fire with fighters from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, at the closed Nahal Oz border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip earlier Sunday evening. The gunfire exchange was reported by a PFLP spokesperson, but was not confirmed by the Israeli military.

In other news, five Palestinian civilians were kidnapped on Monday by Israeli troops during military invasions targeting the southern West Bank city of Hebron and nearby villages.

Muntasser Braghith, 19 years old, and 24 years old Mohamed Ayash was taken by troops during house to house searches at the village of Biet Omer near Hebron city, local sources reported.

The sources added that soldiers attacked Ayash’s home three times last week before kidnapping him on Monday.

14 years old Mohamed Jawabrah was kidnapped by Israeli troops when they stormed the Al Arob refugee camp. Witnesses said that soldiers fired at groups of children and the children hurled stones at the soldiers before they stormed the camp and kidnapped Jawabrah.

Moreover Hussam Fadel, aged 22, was kidnapped by Israeli troops when he was stopped at a military checkpoint in Hebron’s old city. In addition soldiers chased the car of Mohamed Abu Sharikh in Hebron city then kidnapped him, witnesses told local media.

Conclusion

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.

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