Cablegate: Eight More Killed in Hamas Attacks in Gaza City,
DE RUEHJM #1186/01 1641123
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 131123Z JUN 07
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7989
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001186
NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE, NSC FOR ABRAMS/SINGH/WATERS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWBG KPAL IS PTER ASEC
SUBJECT: EIGHT MORE KILLED IN HAMAS ATTACKS IN GAZA CITY,
CENTRAL GAZA; ABU MAZEN SPEECH EXPECTED SOON
REF: JERUSALEM 1179 AND PREVIOUS
1. (SBU) Summary. Heavy factional fighting continues in
Gaza City and central Gaza as of mid-day local.
Approximately 8 Palestinians have been killed so far today
(since midnight): 3 "Executive Force" fighters in a &work
accident8, 2 Fatah militia in Gaza City, and 3 National
Security Forces (NSF) soldiers in Gaza City and Netzarim.
Most PASF installations in northern Gaza (Bayt Lahiya, Bayt
Hanun and Jabaliya) are reported to be in Hamas hands, and
Hamas forces dominate Gaza City outside the main Palestinian
security forces (PASF) and Presidential compounds.
Gaza-based UN contacts report &a 50-percent return for
normalcy8 for stores and markets early June 13. End summary.
2. (SBU) In northern Gaza, security contacts report that
Hamas controls all key roads and most PA/security buildings
in Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya and Jabaliya, and took over all
major NSF bases there yesterday. In Gaza City, Hamas
controls most major streets and intersections. There is
infrequent but sustained mortar fire and sporadic small
arms/RPG fire at the PG/Force 17 bases around the
Presidential compound and the NSF HQ at al-Saraya. The Tal
al-Hawa Preventive Security (PSO) HQ and General Intelligence
(Mukhabarat) HQ in al-Sudaniya also report being cut off by
Hamas and subject to harassing small arms/mortar/RPG fire.
Hamas fighters are besieging Muqawsi towers, home of several
senior Fatah/PASF leaders including Gaza Fatah spokesman
Maher Miqdad and Field Committee Chair Majid Abu Shammali.
(Late reports indicate that Hamas forces captured the towers,
but Miqdad escaped). Hamas took over a Bahariya (Coastal
Patrol) installation near Beach Refugee Camp, and are
besieging a Mukhabarat office/command residence there.
3. (SBU) Extensive clashes are reported in central Gaza as
well, focused on fighting between Fatah militia/NSF on one
side against Hamas fighters in the Nussayrat and al-Mughazi
Refugee Camps and Dayr al-Balah streets.
NSF, Fatah Militias Doing Most Fighting
4. (SBU) The NSF is generally fighting aggressively against
&Executive Force8 and Hamas military-wing fighters,
according to PASF contacts. NSF and Mukhabarat contacts
report a desperate need for weapons and ammunition. The
Presidential Guard (PG) and police have had minimal roles in
Gaza fighting since Monday, with PASF contacts reporting the
NSF and Fatah militia doing most of the fighting.
Abu Mazen Calls for Ceasefire;
Hamas Mil-Wing Calls PASF "Traitors"
5. (SBU) Gaza contacts report wide anticipation of President
Abbas, (Abu Mazen) speech scheduled for this afternoon.
Many expect a call for a state of emergency or pullout from
the NUG, but POL/security contacts doubt how effective either
step would be in restoring security in Gaza. Abbas,
previous calls for all Palestinians to stop fighting and
observe the ceasefire were printed in Arabic-language
dailies. A separate statement from the President,s office
accused &some Hamas political and military leaders (of
being) involved in current planning to overthrow legitimate
Palestinian institutions, living in the illusion that they
can take control of Gaza by force.8
6. (U) PM Haniyah also called for all factions to end
fighting and resume negotiations, but tacked on a statement
accusing Fatah of not believing in political partnership and
seeking to disrupt Palestinian society. Other Hamas
spokesmen issued statements critical of Fatah that called for
Hamas fighters to be firm in their determination "to
eliminate the traitors," and that Hamas &had lost its
patience with useless negotiations after so many of its sons
and brothers were killed.8
All Crossings Closed
7. (SBU) UN and EU-BAM contacts report that all crossings
are closed, including Erez, except for specially-coordinated
JERUSALEM 00001186 002 OF 002
humanitarian cases. Four Palestinian USAID employees and
their families were able to depart via Erez this morning.
Minimal West Bank Violence So Far
8. (SBU) There has been minimal spillover of fighting to the
West Bank so far. West Bank Hamas political leaders have
been low-key and conciliatory in released statements. PASF
commanders say they are closely monitoring Fatah-aligned
extremists in the West Bank to stop retaliatory attacks.