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Cablegate: Fatah-Hamas Gunbattles Break Out in Rafah; One

VZCZCXYZ0007
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJMA #1093 1581329
ZNR UUUUU ZZH ZUI RUEWMCF3759 1581335
O 071329Z JUN 07
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0000
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001093

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWBG KPAL IS PTER
SUBJECT: FATAH-HAMAS GUNBATTLES BREAK OUT IN RAFAH; ONE
FATAH MEMBER KILLED

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. IN THE MOST SERIOUS OUTBREAK OF FACTIONAL
VIOLENCE SINCE MAY 21, ONE FATAH FIGHTER WAS KILLED AND NINE
OTHER PALESTINIANS WERE INJURED IN RAFAH CLASHES EARLY JUNE
7. A BRIEF GUNBATTLE BETWEEN PALESTINIAN SECURITY FORCES
(PASF) AND HAMAS GUNMEN BROKE OUT IN GAZA CITY JUNE 6 AFTER
NATIONAL SECURITY FORCES (NSF) OFFICERS SAID THEY FOUND
TUNNELS FOR EXPLOSIVES DUG NEAR THE NSF HEADQUARTERS AND ON
THE ROUTE BETWEEN EREZ CROSSING AND GAZA CITY. PALESTINIAN
MILITANTS FIRED 5 QASSAM ROCKETS AND 13 MORTARS FROM NORTHERN
GAZA ON JUNE 6, WITH 4 LANDING IN/NEAR SDEROT, BUT NO
INJURIES OR DAMAGE WAS REPORTED. END SUMMARY.

RENEWED FACTIONAL CLASHES IN RAFAH AND GAZA CITY
--------------------------------------------- ---

2. (SBU) HAMAS GUNMEN SHOT AND KILLED 27-YEAR-OLD FATAH
ACTIVIST FUAD WA'AL WAHBI AND INJURED NINE OTHERS IN AN
EXCHANGE OF FIRE IN RAFAH EARLY JUNE 7, ACCORDING TO
PALESTINIAN SECURITY CONTACTS AND ARABIC-LANGUAGE PRESS.
AFTER FIGHTING IN THE STREET, MASKED HAMAS FIGHTERS HAD
SURROUNDED FOUR HOUSES WHERE WAHBI AND OTHER FATAH MEMBERS
HAD TAKEN REFUGE AND ATTACKED THEM WITH AUTOMATIC RIFLE FIRE
AND EXPLOSIVES. FATAH MILITANTS RESPONDED BY RAIDING THE
HOUSE OF A HAMAS MEMBER/ISLAMIC TEACHER ABD AL-KHALIQ YUNIS,
WHO IS REPORTEDLY IN CRITICAL CONDITION. SPORADIC SHOOTING
AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF FIGHTING POSITIONS BY BOTH SIDES IN
RAFAH CONTINUED AS OF 1200 LOCAL.

3. (SBU) A BRIEF GUNBATTLE BROKE OUT IN GAZA CITY BETWEEN
HAMAS AND FATAH FIGHTERS AFTER NSF OFFICERS SAID THEY FOUND
TUNNELS DUG NEAR THE NSF HEADQUARTERS (AL-SARAYA) AND THE
SALAH AL-DIN CORRIDOR FROM EREZ CROSSING INTO GAZA CITY. NO
INJURIES WERE REPORTED IN THIS FIGHTING. BOTH HAMAS AND NSF
FIGHTERS WERE REPORTEDLY TAKING UP ROOFTOP FIGHTING POSITIONS
AS OF 1200 LOCAL. SEPARATELY, FATAH ACTIVISTS KIDNAPPED TWO
HAMAS MEMBERS, INCLUDING A BODYGUARD OF PM ISMAYIL HANIYAH,
IN GAZA CITY JUNE 6 AND BEAT THEM AND SHAVED THEIR
HAIR/BEARDS BEFORE RELEASING THEM.

ROCKET AND MORTAR FIRE CONTINUES
--------------------------------

4. (SBU) PALESTINIAN MILITANTS FIRED 5 QASSAM ROCKETS FROM
NORTHERN GAZA ON JUNE 6. FOUR LANDED IN/NEAR SDEROT BUT
CAUSED NO INJURIES OR DAMAGE. MILITANTS ALSO FIRED 13
MORTARS TOWARD IDF POSITIONS NEAR THE PERIMETER FENCE AT
NAHAL OZ AND EREZ ON JUNE 6, BUT CAUSED NO INJURIES OR
SIGNIFICANT PROPERTY DAMAGE.
WALLES

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