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News, December 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.


Palestinian armed groups threaten renewed bombing inside Israel in event of Gaza invasion

Date: 22 / 12 / 2008  Time:  14:04
Gaza – Ma’an –

Palestinian armed groups threatened on Monday to resume bombing attacks inside Israel in the event of a major Israeli invasion in Gaza or assassination of Palestinian leaders.

On Sunday, the two frontrunners in the Israeli general election, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and right-wing opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to remove Hamas from power in the Gaza Strip.

While the leaders of Palestinian armed groups said they are taking Israel’s threats seriously, political leaders in Gaza dismissed the Israeli pronouncements as election season rhetoric.

The spokesperson of Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades, Abu Ubayda told Ma’an, “Israel might assassinate factions’ leaders during the coming days, but I don’t expect a major military incursion in the Gaza Strip.”

He asserted that Palestinian resistance has the option to respond to Israeli aggression including bombings in Israeli cities.

A nearly identical statement was made by Abu Ahmad, the spokesperson of Islamic Jihad’s military wing, the Al-Quds Brigades: “The group’s fighters will be ready in the West Bank for directives to undertake bombing operations inside Israel.” He said that it would not take long to launch such an attack if Israel assassinated Palestinian leaders.

The spokesperson of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Brigades, Abu Thaer, said his organization’s fighters are ready to respond to any Israeli aggression in Gaza regardless of the scale of the operation.

The An-Nasser Salah Addin Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, threatened to respond harshly to any Israeli aggression. The group’s spokesperson, Abu Ataya, said, “The Gaza Strip will not pay the cost alone; the Israelis will also have to pay a heavy toll.”

“The Gaza Strip will not be a map for easy Israeli operations. The Strip has exceeded the stage of fearing threats and armies of activists ready to blow themselves up are waiting for orders,” he added.

Nevertheless, Hamas movement spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum downplayed the Israeli threats as campaign rhetoric: “Israeli politicians fuel their elections campaign with Palestinian blood.”

Barhoum denied news reports claiming that Hamas had asked Russia to broker a new ceasefire with Israel.


Israeli Occupation Forces Injure Seven Civilians in Gaza, Including a Woman and a Child, Kidnap 10 Civilians in the West Bank


IOF air raid wounds 4 Palestinians including a child

[ 22/12/2008 - 11:40 AM ]


Three Palestinian resistance fighters and a child were wounded at a late hour on Sunday in an Israeli air raid on Al-Shuja'iyah suburb east of Gaza city.

Muawiya Hassanain, the director of ambulance and emergency in the PA health ministry, said that the four were hit with shrapnel of the missile blast, describing the fighters' injuries as "moderate" and the child's as "light".

Local sources said that the Israeli occupation forcers launched two raids targeting missile launching pads and resistance fighters.

Other aerial raids on Sunday night were reported on other areas in northern and eastern Gaza Strip that lightly wounded a Palestinian housewife while a number of resistance fighters escaped unharmed in the raids by IOF reconnaissance planes east of Gaza.

In the West Bank, an IOF unit barged into Nablus city at dawn Monday and wreaked havoc in a number of suburbs before retreating with three young men in custody.

Media sources reported that the IOF soldiers rounded up ten Palestinians in various West Bank areas at an early hour on Monday.

The caretaker government of Ismail Haniya strongly condemned the IOF incursion in Ramallah on Sunday in the absence of any PA security men to confront the raid.

Taher Al-Nunu, the government's spokesman, said in a statement that the scene clearly displayed the security coordination between the PA leadership in Ramallah and the Israeli security apparatuses.

He also warned that the continued international silence towards occupation's crimes posed as a green light to occupation to commit more such crimes.

Al- Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad Movement, said in a statement for its spokesman Abu Ahmed on Monday that the next stage in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would be "difficult".

He urged all factions to unite ranks and to foster the internal front to repel the expected aggression on the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian Woman Wounded in Israeli Shelling of Gaza

Monday December 22, 2008 04:47 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip reported on Sunday night that a woman was wounded after the Israeli occupation army fired a surface-to-surface missile at a group of fighters east of Gaza city.

Medical sources at Kamal Adwan hospital reported that the Palestinian woman suffered mild-to-moderate wounds.
The Israeli attack apparently targeted fighters of Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad.

On Sunday evening, Israeli military helicopters shelled Tal Qlaibo area, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip; damage was reported, but no injuries.

Also, resistance fighters survived an assassination attempt after the Israeli occupation air forces fired a missile at the east side of Al-Shuja'iya neighborhood in Gaza.

Israeli airstrike injures two Palestinians in Gaza City; Fighters fire at Israeli forces from southern Gaza

Date: 22 / 12 / 2008  Time:  14:22
Gaza – Ma’an –

Two Palestinians were slightly injured when an Israeli F16 fighter jet fired a missile at a barracks belonging to the Hamas-allied police in the east of Gaza City, witnesses said.

Mu’awiyah Hassanain, the director of Ambulance and Emergency Services in the Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed the news.

An Israeli occupation forces spokesperson had no information about the strike.

Meanwhile Hamas’ armed wing the Al-Qassam Brigades claimed to have shot at an Israeli soldier in a watchtower along the Gaza-Israel border, south of the Kissufim military base, east of the city of Khan Younis.

The same spokesperson said maintenance workers came under fire at the Kissufim base. No one was injured.

In another development, the Ahmad Abu Al-Rish Brigades, a small armed faction claiming allegiance to Fatah, claimed to have fired two homemade projectiles at the Kissufim base on Monday.

Israeli media reported that one projectile landed at the same time in the Eshkol area, to the east of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli occupation forces kidnap seven Palestinians from Nablus

Date: 22 / 12 / 2008  Time:  15:01
Nablus – Ma’an –

The Israeli occupation forces kidnapped seven Palestinian men during overnight raids in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Local sources identified four of those men later on Monday. They are:

Iyad Abu Salhiyah, 20, from the Krum Ashour area
Fadi Shaqqo, 24 from the Old City
Majed Khalil Abu Dhera'a, 23, from Balata Refugee Camp
Anas No’man Mashayekh, 24, also from Balata.

Local sources said that during the raid, Israeli occupation forces broke into the Marahil house in the Balata Refugee Camp and destroyed the interior of the house.

Israeli occupation forces kidnap three men from Ni’lin, destroy property in village

Date: 22 / 12 / 2008  Time:  14:44
Ramallah – Ma’an –

Israeli occupation forces kidnapped three men from the village of Ni’lin west of Ramallah and broke into several homes destroying property in the area.

Local sources said Israeli occupation forces invaded the village Monday before dawn and saw dozens of military vehicles along with a bulldozer. The jeeps fired rubber bullets and tear gas as they toured the village.

Eyewitnesses reported that troops broke into the house of Ibrahim Mustafa Amira and his brothers Sami and Ahmad. Soldiers broke several windows in the home and opened fire at the water tanks above the home. Before leaving troops detained Ibrahim Amira, a university student, as well as Mahmoud Dahoud and Muhammad Zarul Amira.

Israeli occupation forces kidnap at least ten Palestinians in West Bank raids

Date: 22 / 12 / 2008  Time:  09:19
Bethlehem/Tulkarem – Ma’an –

Israeli occupation forces kidnapped at least ten Palestinians on Monday morning during raids in the West Bank, the Israeli military confirmed.

According to the military, three were kidnapped in the city of Jenin and seven from the city of Nablus.

The Palestinian security forces said that three others, not mentioned in the military account, were taken from their homes near the Israeli separation wall in the town of Zaita, north of the city of Tulkarem.

According to local security sources, two of the abductees were brothers.

The source identified abductees as, 18-year-old Kifah Abu Al-Izz, 22-year-old Nasr Abul 'Izz ,and his brother 30-year-old Muhammad Abul ‘Izz.

***Updated at 9:59 local time

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