The News Cast
Israeli sources reported on Tuesday midday that the Israeli government has decided to step-up attacks on the Gaza strip, Palestinian sources said that the death toll in the costal region by midday today had reached 12. The Israeli army claimed that the recent attacks come in response to Palestinian home made shells fired from Gaza into the nearby Israeli towns.
A total of nine Palestinians were killed in Israeli air-strikes in the Gaza Strip on Monday. Four were killed late Monday night, following an air strike several hours earlier that killed three Palestinian resistance fighters of the Islamic Jihad armed wing of the Al Quads Brigades.
That strike came shortly after a leader of the Al Quads brigades , Majed al-Harazin and his aid were killed during a missile strike on their car in western Gaza city earlier that evening. Medical sources reported that bodies of those killed reached the hospital dismembered, and some children were among five other people injured during the air strikes.
On Tuesday before noon, Israeli gunboats shelled a Palestinian Police station in Rafah city located in southern Gaza, killing two Palestinians and injuring four. The Gaza-based resistance factions vowed to avenge the killings. Leaders of Palestinian resistance in Gaza during radio interviews sent out calls to resistance groups to turn off their mobile phones in an attempt to foil Israeli electronic tracking and to stay out of vehicles.
In the West Bank on Tuesday during a pre-dawn military operation by Israeli Special forces, a leader of the al Quds brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad was killed by military gunfire and another two were injured in the northern West Bank town of Qabatiya.
Sources of Islamic Jihad named the leader as Tareq Abu Ghali, a leader of the al Quds brigades in the north of the West Bank. The leader was killed when under cover Special Forces of the Israeli military ambushed him in a car holding a Palestinian license plate and rained the leader's vehicle with heavy gunfire. The medical condition of the other two injured Palestinians is still not known as they were abducted by the forces.
The Israeli parliamentary block Peace Now movement issued a report on Tuesday documenting the Israeli continued settlement activity in the West Bank. The report shows that the Israeli government continued to build homes inside Israeli settlements in the West Bank and demolished at least eight Palestinian homes after the Annapolis conference held in Moreland city USA in late November
In Annapolis the Israeli Premier Ehod Olmert and the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to restart peace talks based on the US brokered Road Map Peace plan. The Road Map Peace plan demands Israel to stop all settlement activity in the Palestinian areas in addition to halting all attacks on the Palestinians, in return the Palestinian Authority headed by Abbas will dismantle all armed Palestinian resistance groups.
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 Caroline Jones and Ghassan Bannoura.