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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre,, for Monday, December 28th, 2009

Israeli tanks attack Gaza border areas and troops kidnap civilians from the West Bank. These stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.

The News Cast

Israeli troops kidnapped on Monday nine Palestinian civilians during pre dawn military invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities. Local sources reported invasions at Qalyndia refugee camp, and the nearby village of Buddo, near Jerusalem, during which three men were kidnapped. Further raids were conducted in the southern West Bank city of Hebron and nearby villages. An additional six men were kidnapped.

Troops searched and ransacked homes and evacuated families into the streets before kidnapping the nine men, witnesses told local media. The Israeli army radio announced that all nine men were taken to military detention camps for questioning.

In other news, Israeli tanks invaded on Monday areas close to the northern and southern Gaza Israeli borders. The first invasion took place on Monday morning when tanks and bulldozers rolled into farm lands near the town of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

Witnesses said that tanks opened fire on resident’s homes while bulldozers damaged crops. No injuries were reported. Later in the day another group of Israeli tanks and bulldozers invaded the town of Biet Hannon in the northern Gaza Strip.

Tanks fired shells at resident homes while bulldozers uprooted trees and damaged crops; witnesses reported damage but no injuries. During a similar attack on Saturday Israeli shells killed three civilians in the town of Biet Hannon.

The Israeli Housing Ministry released new bids for the construction of homes in Settlements around East Jerusalem. The Israeli Channel 10 reported that the Israeli government released three construction bids totaling 692 homes that are planned to be built in the settlements of Har-Homa, Bisgat Za’ev, and Natife Yakuf, all located around east Jerusalem.

Israeli occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 war and since then it has been driving out the Palestinian population by discriminatory planning policies, widespread house demolitions and extensive settlement development. This is despite the fact that it is illegal under international law for Israel to transfer its civilian population into the occupied territories as stipulated in the 4th Geneva Convention.

Last month the Israeli government decided to freeze settlement activity in the West Bank in an attempt to revive the stalled peace talks with the Palestinians. The 6 month long freeze did not include Jerusalem or homes already under construction. The U.S administration and the Palestinians Authority have demanded a total freeze of settlement construction before peace talks can be resumed.


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 Ghassan Bannoura