The West Bank
Israeli media on Wednesday morning claimed that eight Palestinians had been kidnapped in a series of pre-dawn raids across the West Bank. The sources claimed that the civilians were kidnapped from the central West Bank city of Ramallah and the southern West Bank cities of Bethlehem and Hebron. All were transferred to an undisclosed location for interrogation. In the northern West Bank, Israeli forces also invaded the cities of Tulkarem, Nablus and Jenin. No injuries or kidnappings were reported in the attacks.
Hamas sources on Wednesday afternoon reported that Palestinian security forces had invaded Aseera village, located near the West Bank city of Nablus, kidnapping at least 22 members of the movement.
The Israeli government will announce a freeze on all settlement activity prior to the Annapolis summit, Israeli media reported on Tuesday. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, a number of senior Israeli officials discussed the issue with White House representatives on Tuesday, after recent pressure from the U.S. government forced the hand of the Israeli administration.
The Gaza Strip
One Palestinian on Wednesday died of wounds sustained during Monday's clashes in Gaza city. The al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, claimed that the man, Marwan al-Nunu, was a member of the movement, adding that they held the Hamas-dominated government responsible for the violence that left seven dead and scores more injured.
The democratically-elected de facto government in Gaza on Tuesday ‘dismissed’ the United Nations representative for the Palestinian people, Riyadh Mansour, after he proposed legislation that would declare the Hamas movement an illegal militia. The dismissal, however, is likely to be largely symbolic, as the Hamas government is not recognized by Israel or the US, and, as such, their decisions are not considered legitimate.
A group of Palestinians stranded on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing on Wednesday stated that they would soon commence a hunger strike in protest against their continued predicament. A spokesman for the group indicated that many of their number were suffering form severe medial problems and lack of basic necessities such as food and water, adding that the situation would only get worse with the coming onset of winter.
Media sources on Wednesday reported that one Israeli soldier was lightly injured by gunfire near the Erez border crossing. While it has been assumed that the shots were fired by a Palestinian gunman, no faction has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. The soldier was transferred to a hospital in Ashkelon for medical treatment.
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 John Smith and Ghassan Bannoura.