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Palestine Today 021907

Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Monday February 19th, 2007.

Palestinian worker dies at an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank, while Palestinian resistance have detonated a home made bomb near to Israeli army patrol in the Gaza strip, these stories and more coming up stay tuned.
Palestine Today 021907
Palestine Today 021907
The West Bank update

Palestinian media sources reported that a Palestinian worker died on Monday midday when he was run over by car. The incident occurred while standing at an Israeli military checkpoint near the Southern West Bank city of Bethlehem. Khalil Harb, 20, originally from Yatta village near Hebron city, was killed when he was waiting to cross the container checkpoint north-east of Bethlehem.

A Palestinian ambulance was called by the people standing nearby and Harb was moved to Beit Jala public hospital in Bethlehem. Later his body will be moved to his home village.

Israeli sources reported that a body of a man, who is believed to be Israeli, was found near the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday afternoon.

The Israeli police started a search after receiving a report of a body seen north-west of Ramallah, between the villages of Kibya and Shukba. According to the Israeli police reports "the body was found sprawled at the roadside with a slit throat".

A truck with an Israeli registration plate was parked next to the body with the engine still running and a door open. It is believed that the murder was committed a few hours before the body was found, no identification documents were found on the body. Israeli Police are still investigating, to determine whether the incident is politically motivated or not.

On Monday morning the Israeli army invaded several parts of the West Bank and abducted 15 Palestinian men. Those fifteen were manly residents of Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah and Nablus cities, among them was a Palestinian official.

Doctor Hattem Shuhada, 54, was abducted from his house in Hebron and taken to an unknown location. Shuhada is the advisor to the Palestinian Minister of Health in the West Bank.

Since the capture of the Israeli soldier Gil'ad Shalit, in Gaza by a Palestinian resistance faction in June 2006, the Israeli army has abducted more than 40 Palestinian law makers and officials, among them four Palestinian ministers.

The Gaza Update

Two groups working with the Al Aqsa brigades, an offshoot of Fatah, detonated a home made bomb by remote control, near to an Israeli army patrol at the border East of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, on Monday morning.

In their statement the groups said that the bomb was detonated when an Israeli military Hum-Vee passed near Khuza'a. They added that the resistance fighters also opened fire at the Israeli solders in the area, the groups said this attack comes in response to the illegal Israeli excavations near to Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Palestinian sources at Rafah border crossing, in the southern Gaza strip, stated that the crossing was reopened on Monday morning. Wa'el Dahap, the spokesperson of the Palestinian groups working at the crossing, stated that the crossing was opened on Monday morning after the European observers came to their posts at the crossing.

The Rafah crossing is the only way for the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip to go in or out of Gaza. This crossing will only be opened if the EU observers are present, according to an agreement that was reached between Israeli authorities and Palestinians last year.

Despite promises to allow third party control of the crossing point, Israel has imposed a military closure on the border 80% of the time since June 2006, and barred the third party observers from reaching their posts.

Abbas/Olmert/Rice Summit in Jerusalem
The three-way summit between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert and US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, ended abruptly today with no official statement reported.

The meeting, slated for Monday in west Jerusalem, was expected to involve the discussion of possible means to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, in accordance with the internationally-backed road map peace blueprint, and the U.S president Gorge W. Bush's vision for a two-state solution. Rice arrived in the region Sunday and met with both leaders separately, voicing hope that the Palestinian factions' agreement in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca would pave the way for future peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.

Rice hoped the meeting "will be an opportunity to renew commitment to the peace process by all parties".

Conclusion

Thank you for joining us from Occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today from the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, brought to you by Oliver Eacott and Ghassan Bannoura

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