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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Thursday, April 23ed, 2015.
Israeli military bombards Gaza and in the West Bank armed settlers attack Palestinian communities. These stories, and more, coming up, stay tuned.
Israeli soldiers fired, late on Thursday night, three artillery shells into an area in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, while navy ships fired dozens of rounds of live ammunition into the Gaza shore.
Media sources in Gaza said the army fired three shells at â€śmonitoring sitesâ€ť used by fighters of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas.
They added that several Israeli navy ships fired dozens of rounds of live ammunition into the Gaza shore in the northern part of the coastal region, while military helicopters repeatedly violated Gaza air space.
In a brief press statement, Israeli Army spokesperson Avichai Adraee claimed the army bombarded a site in northern Gaza â€śin retaliation to a shell that was fired into the Western Negev.â€ť
He added that Israel has decided to prevent Gaza Strip residents from leaving the coastal region heading to Jerusalem for Friday prayers, and also decided to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing.
Spokesperson of the Palestinian Minister Of Health, Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, said the Israeli attack did not cause any casualties, and called on the Palestinians to remain alert.
Earlier on Thursday evening, a home-made rocket was reported to have been fired from the Gaza Strip into the Negev desert area. Sirens sounded in Sderot settlement in the south, according to the PNN, and residents reported hearing explosions close to their communities. No injuries were reported.
Elsewhere, Hundreds of Israeli settlers raided Palestinian villages in the Nablus district on Thursday, officials and witnesses said. Several Palestinian students suffered tear-gas inhalation as Israeli forces raided a girls’ school to the south of Nablus, on Thursday as well.
Media sources said that over 100 armed settlers entered Sebastia and an area between Aqraba and Beita villages. Locals said that Israeli military vehicles deployed in Huwwara village near a checkpoint of the same name to protect the settlers.
Thursday is Independence Day, which marks the establishment of the State of Israel following the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in what became Israel.
And thatâ€™s all for today from the IMEMC News; this was the Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 news round-up from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates, please visit our website at www.imemc.org. Todayâ€™s report has been brought to you by Ghassan Bannoura and me Jinka Suderbrig.