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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, for Wednesday January 18th, 2012.

The cyber war between Israel and Saudi hackers continues after an Israeli group struke back, and two Palestinian are killed in a joint Israeli Army-Air force strike in the Gaza Strip, these stories and more, coming up, so stay tuned.

In retaliation for a Saudi Hacker stealing and releasing Israeli credit card details, and hacking the Tel Aviv stock exchange, an Israeli hack group styling itself IDF-Team, retaliated. Whilst Saudi officials deny any hack, the group claim they were able to paralyze the Tadawul website, and caused significant delays to the ADX exchange site.

The Israeli group called the originate hack on Monday “Pathetic”, where the Saudi haders called Nightmare Group caused disruption on Israeli stock exchange and the El Al airline websites.

Another Israeli hacker calling himself Hannibal released a list of 30,000 Arab Facebook emails and passwords. The cyber-war started earlier this month, when a Saudi hacker named OxOmar released thousands of Israeli credit card numbers online.

In other news whilst attempting to plant explosives on the Gaza side of the border fence with Israel, two Palestinians were killed when the Israeli forces opened fire. A military spokesperson stated that they were deemed suspicious, and as the group approached the fence at a distance of 30m, they were fired upon by the Israeli armoured corps and a fighter-jet of the Israeli Air Force.

Mohammad Abu Awda, aged 23, died in the blast which also set of the explosives they were carting. Ahmad Za’aneen, also died shortly after from his wounds. Two others were also injured in the blast. The strike occurred at 11.30am, near the border, east of the northern Gazan town of Beit Hanoun.

The strike comes just a day after Israeli Daily, the Jerusalem Post, reported that the General Staff of the Israeli Army has instructed the Southern-Command to make preparations and plans for a large-scale offensive against the Gaza strip, which could take place in the coming months.

The officers speaking for the army stressed that the Israeli government has issued no order regarding a military operation, and that Israel’s military were merely preparing so that plans could be implemented in a moment’s notice if required.

The JPost stated that the Gaza Division, headed by Brigadier General Yossi Bachar is directing the operations, and that the offensive could be bigger that that of Operation Cast Lead, which claimed the lives of 13 Israeli soldiers, and fourteen-hundred Palestinians, a large number of whom were civilians
That’s all for today from the IMEMC News, this was the Wednesday January 18th daily roundup of news from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We hope you will join us again tomorrow. This has been brought to you by Husam Qassis, and me, William Gibson.