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Cablegate: Minor Factional Clashes; Continued Qassam Attacks

VZCZCXYZ0006
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJMA #0980 1451344
ZNR UUUUU ZZH ZUI RUEWMCF2547 1451347
O 251344Z MAY 07
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC0000
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 000980

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE AND IPA, NSC FOR ABRAMS/SINGH/WATERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KWBG IS PTER PGOV PINS ASEC
SUBJECT: MINOR FACTIONAL CLASHES; CONTINUED QASSAM ATTACKS
AND ISRAELI AIRSTRIKES

REF: JERUSALEM 964 AND PREVIOUS

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. HAMAS GUNMEN RAIDED A FATAH "SPECIAL
FORCE" TRAINING AREA IN CENTRAL GAZA MAY 24, BUT NO INJURIES
RESULTED. SENIOR FATAH CONTACTS SAY A HIGH-LEVEL FATAH
DELEGATION WILL GO TO CAIRO MAY 26 TO MEET WITH EGYPTIAN
OFFICIALS AND SENIOR HAMAS FIGURES TO SOLIDIFY THE FACTIONAL
CEASEFIRE, DISCUSS POLITICAL DISPUTES AND CONSIDER A
COMPREHENSIVE CEASEFIRE WITH ISRAEL. 14 QASSAM ROCKETS AND
AT LEAST 2 MORTARS STRUCK ISRAEL, WITH SOME MORTAR DAMAGE AT
EREZ CROSSING BUT NO REPORTED INJURIES OR DAMAGE FROM THE
QASSAMS. PALESTINIAN MEDIA AND SECURITY CONTACTS REPORT ONE
PALESTINIAN WAS KILLED AND 12 INJURED IN ISRAELI AIRSTRIKES
AND SHELLING ON A BLACKSMITH SHOP, MONEY EXCHANGE SHOP AND
MULTIPLE "EXECUTIVE FORCE" POSITIONS. END SUMMARY.

SPORADIC FACTIONAL FIGHTING;
HIGHT-LEVEL FATAH-HAMAS MEETING
-------------------------------

2. (SBU) HAMAS GUNMEN RAIDED A FATAH "SPECIAL FORCE"
TRAINING AREA NEAR AL-BURAYJ REFUGEE CAMP MAY 24, CHASING OFF
THE TRAINERS, STEALING A RIFLE AND HOISTING HAMAS BANNERS,
BUT THERE WERE NO INJURIES. FIGHTING BETWEEN GAZA CLANS
RESULTED IN ONE PALESTINIAN KILLED AND TWO OTHERS INJURED,
BUT BOTH PALESTINIAN SECURITY CONTACTS AND HAMAS PRESS
STATEMENTS SAY THE INCIDENT WAS UNRELATED TO FATAH-HAMAS
TENSION.

3. (SBU) SENIOR FATAH CONTACTS SAY A HIGH-LEVEL FATAH
DELEGATION WILL ARRIVE IN CAIRO ON MAY 26 TO MEET WITH
EGYPTIAN OFFICIALS AND SENIOR HAMAS FIGURES TO SOLIDIFY THE
FACTIONAL CEASEFIRE, ADDRESS OUTSTANDING POLITICAL DISPUTES,
NEGOTIATE A COMPREHENSIVE CEASEFIRE WITH ISRAEL, AND DEVISE A
FATAH-HAMAS PROGRAM OF POLITICAL PARTNERSHIP. THE SAME
CONTACTS REPORT HIGH-LEVEL FATAH-HAMAS MEETINGS IN GAZA SINCE
MAY 22 TO DISCUSS A CEASEFIRE WITH ISRAEL (COVERING BOTH GAZA
AND THE WEST BANK), BUT THE TALKS HAVE BEEN HELD IRREGULARLY
BECAUSE HAMAS FEARS OF ISRAELI AIRSTRIKES ON THEIR LEADERS.

QASSAMS AND ISRAELI STRIKES INTENSIFY
-------------------------------------

4. (SBU) 14 QASSAM ROCKETS AND AT LEAST 2 MORTARS STRUCK
ISRAEL FROM 1500 (LOCAL) MAY 24 TO 1400 MAY 25, WITH SOME
MORTAR DAMAGE AT EREZ CROSSING BUT NO REPORTED INJURIES OR
DAMAGE FROM THE QASSAMS.

5. (SBU) PALESTINIAN MEDIA AND SECURITY CONTACTS REPORT THAT
IDF TANK FIRE KILLED A PALESTINIAN FARMER IN NORTHERN GAZA
MAY 24. LATE MAY 24, ISRAELI AIRSTRIKES AND SHELLING INJURED
12 PALESTINIANS IN STRIKES ON A RAFAH BLACKSMITH SHOP, GAZA
CITY MONEY EXCHANGE SHOP AND MULTIPLE "EXECUTIVE FORCE"
POSITIONS.
WALLES

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