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Welcome to Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, for Tuesday, August 03, 2010.

Clashes erupt between the Lebanese army and Israeli military forces and more settlement units approved for Pizgat Ze’ev these stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

Skirmishes began earlier in the day with conflicting reports coming from news agencies in both countries claiming the other side fired first, and giving conflicting reasons as to what sparked the incident.

Three Lebanese soldiers have died in the skirmish with the Israeli military today. Five more were wounded in a shelling of an army position by the Israeli military. One Israeli commander was killed and another Israeli officer is critically wounded. A journalist was also killed.

The conflict seems to have started after soldiers in the Lebanese army fired warning shots at a group of Israeli engineers out to take down a tree.

The soldiers perceived a breach of Lebanese territory and acted under that assumption.

Two of the Lebanese soldiers were killed when Israeli forces fired at the vehicle they were traveling in and it caught fire.

The wounded soldiers were injured in shells fired at their position in Adaisseh village in the south of Lebanon.

UNIFIL, the UN monitoring force along the border has asked both sides to show ‘great restraint’ in this latest incident.

These are the first clashes between Israeli forces, and the official Lebanese army, rather than Hezbollah forces.

Israel, on Monday, approved construction of forty new settlement housing units in the Pisgat Ze’ev settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.

The decision comes as part of a greater plan to build a total of 220 new units in the settlement.

The approval by the housing committee comes at a time of stressed relations as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushes for direct talks with the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority has sought out an extension to a construction freeze in the settlements as a condition to moving to direct talks.

In Gaza the Israeli military shot another Palestinian collecting construction material near the border with Israel.

The Israeli military also kidnapped seven civilians from the village of Azzun, near Qalqiliya. The reason given for their abduction was suspicion of ‘terrorist activities.’

Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem, you have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Media Center, for constant update, please visit our website at This report has been brought to you by Brian Ennis.