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Cablegate: Some Aid Arrives in Gaza, Most Crossings Closed

VZCZCXRO9615
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1266 1701448
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191448Z JUN 07
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8101
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001266

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; NEA/IPA FOR
WILLIAMS/SHAMPAINE/BELGRADE; PRM FOR PDAS GREENE AND
PRM/ANE; NSC FOR ABRAMS/WATERS; TREASURY FOR
SZUBIN/LOEFFLER/NUGENT/HIRSON; BRUSSELS FOR LERNER; PLEASE
PASS TO USAID FOR KUNDER/MCCLOUD/BORODIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON EFIN KPAL KWBG PGOV PHUM
SUBJECT: SOME AID ARRIVES IN GAZA, MOST CROSSINGS CLOSED

REF: JERUSALEM 1253

1. (SBU) Summary: Fuel imports continued to flow into Gaza
June 19, and several truck loads of humanitarian assistance
entered through Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza. Gaza-based
contacts report continued panic buying June 19, but, with the
exception of wheat-flour, sugar, and dairy products, most
food items remain available. One Palestinian was killed
following an exchange of gunfire at Erez crossing June 18.
End summary.

Fuel Imports
------------

2. (SBU) The Nahal Oz fuel transport station is open June
19, as Israeli company Dor Alon continues to ship all
petroleum products to Gaza, according to several Gaza-based
contacts. A PA General Petroleum Authority officer told
EconSpecialist June 19 that regular shipments resumed after
the PA assured the Israeli supplier, Dor Alon, that the
existing contract would be honored.

Kerem Shalom Open For Humanitarian Shipments
--------------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Gaza-based USAID staff reported that the Kerem
Shalom commercial crossing opened June 19 for shipments of
U.N. humanitarian goods to Gaza. WHO Gaza Director Mahmoud
Daher told Econoff that WHO received one truckload of medical
supplies at Kerem Shalom June 19. According to Daher, WFP
and ICRC planned to receive several truckloads of food stuffs
and medical supplies at Kerem Shalom on June 19.

4. (SBU) According to Gaza-based OCHA representative Hamada
al-Bayari, basic food commodities and fuel remain available
in Gaza, but prices continue to rise as food stocks decline.
Al-Bayari said that there was much more activity in the
markets June 19 than the previous day, but most food items
remain available except for wheat-flour, sugar, and dairy
products, which are now in limited supply.

Crossings' Situation Fluid
As Gunfire Exchanged; One Dead
------------------------------

5. (SBU) Erez crossing remained closed June 19, but a few
international aid workers managed to enter Gaza June 19,
according to WHO's Daher.

6. (SBU) On June 18, members of the Palestinian Resistance
Committee (PRC) approached Erez and opened fire. In the
resulting exchange of fire with the IDF, at least one
Palestinian civilian was killed and up to 15 wounded. At
mid-day on June 19, "al-Jazeera" broadcast images of IDF
forces dispersing Palestinians waiting at Erez; their current
disposition is unknown. UNRWA Gaza Director John Ging stated
to Econoffs June 18 that Hamas' executive force members had
established a check-point along the highway to Erez, less
than one kilometer from the crossing. In addition, Ging
reported that street traffic in the City of Gaza is being
policed by the Hamas Executive Force.

7. (SBU) Gaza-based USAID staff report that Rafah, Sufa, and
Karni/al-Mintar crossings were closed June 19. Approaches to
crossings are controlled by Hamas security forces, who have
established check-points near all Gaza border crossings,
according to a Gaza-based OCHA representative. On June 18 at
Rafah, 161 people entered Gaza from Egypt, as Hamas security
forces manned the terminal. EU-BAM told Econoff June 18 that
this move was not coordinated with EU-BAM or Israel.

Updated Casualty Figures
------------------------

8. (SBU) The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reported
that from June 10-17, 146 people were killed in the violence
in Gaza, including 36 civilians, and over 700 injured.

WALLES

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