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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday August 1, 2012.
The Israeli military continues incursions in to Gaza and Israeli settlers attack Nabi Saleh; these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
On Wednesday, Israeli soldiers used heavy artillery to fire at Palestinian homes and farms in several areas in Gaza. The military fired on Palestinian property east of Khan Younis and in Beit Hanoun, a town north of the Gaza Strip. There were no injuries reported.
Additionally, Israeli forces escorted bulldozers into areas east of al-Bureji and al-Maghazi refugee camps in central Gaza. The military stormed in using heavy gunfire and bulldozers razed large plots of land and created earth mounds in the area.
Elsewhere in Gaza, 22-year old Ayman al-Sharafa was killed when a car exploded in Gaza City on Wednesday morning. A spokesperson with the Ministry of Health in Hamas-administered Gaza had no further comment on the individual or the explosion. Other agencies have reported that al-Sharafa was a militant traveling with explosives in his car when the devices detonated unexpectedly, according to AFP. There are also reports that at least two others were in the vehicle with al-Sharafa when the explosion occurred. The unnamed individuals were not critically injured, reports The Huffington Post.
Near Hebron today, Israeli settlers uprooted and burned olive trees on Palestinian land in the village of Nabi Saleh . According to the Palestine News Network, a spokesman for the Palestinian Popular Resistance Movement in Nabi Saleh said that the Israeli military escorted a group of settlers to the area and watched passively as the settlers destroyed Palestinian property. The Israeli military took no action against the settlers despite being present throughout the incident.
And late on Tuesday, it was reported that the Israeli military and intelligence service, Shabak, arrested members of two Palestinian “cells” in the Hebron area. The cells were allegedly located in Halhoul village north of Hebron and had plans for a “series of attacks” on Israelis. These attacks consist of Palestinians throwing stones at Israeli civilian or police cars. In the past week alone, at least nine actual attacks on Palestinians by the Israeli military or Israeli settlers have been documented in the Hebron area. No charges have been filed against any Israelis for any of these incidents.
And finally today, the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government finalized an economic agreement which would aid the PA in weathering its current financial crisis while also enhancing the tax collection system. Local observers said the PA hopes to reach an agreement to increase its control over the commercial border crossing points which would influence the balance of payments of the PA.
And that’s all for today from IMEMC News; this was the Wednesday August 1st daily news round-up from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website at www.imemc.org. Today’s report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me, Kelly Joiner.