Cross-Cultural Understanding

News, March 2008


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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.

Israeli occupation forces kill 2 Palestinians, injure 18 peace activitsts, kidnap several people in Gaza, invade Qabatia

Israeli occupation forces kill Palestinian teenager in Gaza

Date: 29 / 03 / 2008  Time:  10:01
Gaza – Ma'an –

Israeli occupation forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday night.

A medical crew succeeded in retrieving the body of the 18-year-old and transferring it to Kamal Udwan Hospital in northern Gaza.

Mu'awya Hassanain, the director of ambulance and emergency services in the Palestinian Health Ministry said that the body had been shot dozens of times. Health Ministry officials are still waiting for Palestinians to come forward and identify the victim.

Separately, Israeli occupation forces shot a 23-year-old farmer in the town of Khuza'a, in the southern Gaza Strip, near the Israeli border wall. The victim was a member of the Qudeh family.

The Israeli occupation forces recently enlarged the "Buffer Zone" inside the Strip along the border with Israel. Palestinian are now forbidden from approaching within 800 meters of the border. Israeli soldiers shoot at Palestinians, including farmers tending their land, who enter the border zone.

Israeli occupation forces were also reported to have kidnapped several Palestinians in Khuza'a on Saturday.

Islamic Jihad fighters 'confront' Israeli occupation forces in Qabatiya

Date: 29 / 03 / 2008  Time:  11:27
Jenin – Ma'an –

Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, claimed that their fighters confronted Israeli occupation forces that entered the West Bank town of Qabatiya, near the city of Jenin on Saturday.

The group's spokesperson said that Al-Quds Brigades fighters threw grenades at Israeli occupation forces who invaded the town from several directions.

The Israeli occupation forces "raided a number of houses and spread through the streets and alleys of the town looking for resistance members, but Al-Quds Brigades fighters [blocked] the operation amid a barrage of gunfire and grenades," he said

The spokesman said at the conclusion of his speech that the Israeli occupation forces withdrew from the town without arresting any fighters or civilians.

Israeli occupation forces attack weekly Bil'in protest, 17 injured including 7 journalists

Friday March 28, 2008 18:28 by Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC News

Scores of residents of Bil’in, a village near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, along with their international and Israeli supporters, took to the streets on Friday to conduct their weekly nonviolent protest against the Israeli Wall and illegal confiscation of the village's land.

Israeli occupation forces manning the wall and its gate that cuts off the villagers from their land showered the protesters with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets immediately after the protesters reached the gate.

17 were injured including seven journalists. Medical sources identified some of the injured journalists as Fadi Al Arouri, a photojournalist, Najud al Qassem, a cameraman, Moheb Al Bargouthi, a reporter, and George Haltah, a cameraman.

Also among those injured was Eyad Burnat, of Bil'in popular committee, who told IMEMC "I was trying to protect one of the village youth who was attacked by the soldiers when soldiers attacked and beat me up."

The parents of Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist who was killed by the
Israeli occupation forces in Gaza five years ago, took part of the Bil'in protest. Her father, Mr Craig Corrie, praised the nonviolent resistance in Bil'in and called for more support for the Palestinians in their struggle for freedom.

Rachel Corrie was killed in 2003 in Rafah city, in the southern part of the Gaza strip when an
Israeli occupation forces bulldozer ran over her while she was protecting a local family home from being demolished by the Israeli army.

Anti Wall protest in Al-Khader village near Bethlehem

Friday March 28, 2008 18:20 by Manar Jibrin & Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC News

At least 250 Palestinians from the village of Al-Khader located near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, joined by Israeli and international peace activists staged a protest on Friday midday against the illegal Wall Israel is building on the village's land.

The protest started by performing the Friday prayers at Al-Nashah Israeli occupation forces checkpoint located at the entrance of the village. Shortly afterwards, protesters marched towards the checkpoint where they were stopped by a razorwire blockade installed by the Israeli soldiers.

Members of the local Popular Committee of Land Defense in Al Khader and the Mayor of the village delivered speeches in Arabic. The protests were then finished peacefully without any clashes with the army.

Samer Jaber, from the local Popular Committee of Lands Defense in Al-Khader said that "In addition to protesting the illegal confiscation of our land we also commemorate the 32nd anniversary of Palestinian Land Day."

On March 30 1976, Palestinians voiced their rejection of the Israeli policies of racism and annexing Palestinian lands in demonstrations in the Arab town of Saknin, in the Galilee.

On that day, six Palestinian residents of Saknin were killed by the Israeli police, and Palestinians and Arabs have been commemorating that day since then. The day became known as Land Day, a day of national rejection of the Israeli occupation, Israeli land annexation policies, and Israeli racist policies against the Palestinians living inside Israel.

The illegal Israeli wall will annex more than 18 thousand acres of land in the Bethlehem area to Israel. 5 000 acres of these lands belong to residents of Al-Khader, who depend on farming for a majority of their livelihood.

A Qassam fighter killed by Israeli occupation forces in southern Gaza

Friday March 28, 2008 12:28 by Rami Almeghari - IMEMC & Agencies

A Palestinian resistance fighter of the aL-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of the ruling Hamas in Gaza, has been reportedly killed by the Israeli army early on Friday morning.

Media sources reported that an Israeli occupation army special force clashed with a group of fighters near the Kussofim military post to the east of Al-Qarrara village in southern Gaza Strip.

Dr. Moawiya Hasanin, chief of emergency department at the Gaza's health ministry, confirmed the death of Belal Al-Astal, 23, and injury of two others at the Naser hospital of Khan Younis, to the south of Gaza.

Meanwhile, the Jaysh Al-Oma (Army of Nation), a newly-emerged group, announced today morning that its fighters shot and wounded three Israeli soldiers near the said Kussofim military post.

In a statement, faxed to press, the Army of Islam said the attack on soldiers came in response to Dutch drawings that harm the prophet Mohammad of Islam as well as the 'crimes', Muslims have been exposed to in the holy city of Jerusalem.

Recently, the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, has vowed to further strike the ruling Hamas in Gaza, despite latest talk on a ceasefire between Palestinian resistance groups and Israel.

Early on March, the Israeli army killed more than 120 Palestinians including 40 children, within a large Israeli army ground offensive on the northern parts of Gaza.

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