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Cablegate: Jenin: Pa Arrests Pij Militant and Criminals, Idf

VZCZCXRO1808
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #0791/01 1331254
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121254Z MAY 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1469
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JCS WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 000791

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWBG PINS IS PGOV PTER
SUBJECT: JENIN: PA ARRESTS PIJ MILITANT AND CRIMINALS, IDF
MAKES MULTIPLE INCURSIONS

REF: A. JERUSALEM 777
B. JERUSALEM 764

1. (SBU) Summary. PA security forces (PASF) conducted
patrols in Jenin and 32 nearby villages May 10-12, arresting
a senior leader of the PIJ military wing and 11 wanted
criminals. According to PA security commanders, the IDF
entered Jenin and nearby Area A towns late May 11/early May
12, unsuccessfully targeting PIJ militants. A Jenin PIJ
spokesman condemned PA security efforts as "complementing the
Israel occupation's role in arresting and assassinating
Palestinian resistance fighters." PM Salam Fayyad visited
Jenin and Qabatiya May 11 and urged PA forces to continue
efforts to improve law and order. End summary.

PA Steps Up Patrols/Raids
in Jenin and Nearby Villages
----------------------------

2. (SBU) In May 12 phone calls with PolOff and PolFSN, PA
security forces (PASF) commanders reported company-size
(about 100 men) patrols underway as of 1300 local on May 12
in villages west of Jenin near the separation barrier (Kfrayt
and al-Tarim in Area A, Khuljan, Khirbit Mas'ud, Zabda, Umm
Dar and Tura al-Gharbiya in Area B, and Tura al-Sharqiya and
Dahir al-Abd in Area C), with previous IDF clearance. At
1000 local, PASF patrols entered Yabad (Area B, west of Jenin
near Mevo Dotan checkpoint). They were welcomed by villagers
with roses and rice and given Fatah pamphlets pledging
support for PA security efforts. Late May 11 and early May
12, PASF patrolled through villages southwest of Jenin
(Fahmah, Kufr Ra'i and al-Zawiya in Area A, Arrabah and Ajjah
split between A/B Areas, and al-Mansura off Hwy 60 in Area C).

3. (SBU) PASF officers report sending three separate,
company-size elements on patrols May 10-11, the first to
villages in the extreme north/northeast edges of the West
Bank (Faqqu'a, 'Arrana, Arubanah and al-Jalamah, all Area B),
the second to towns/villages northwest/west of Jenin
(al-Yamun, Kufr Dan, al-Hashmiyah, Kufr Qud in Area A, and
Zububa, Tinak, al-Taybah, Rumanah, and 'Anin in Area B), and
the third to the Mislah, Qabatiya and Aqqabah areas south of
Jenin. Police and National Security Forces (NSF) contacts
report seizing 95 stolen cars and motorbikes and having these
disassembled for parts or crushed. Security contacts seizing
illegally-excavated archaeological materials in Faqqu'a and
10 boxes of 5.56mm (M-16) ammunition in Aqqabah, and arrests
of 11 wanted criminals in the greater Jenin area.

PA Arrests Senior PIJ Militant;
PIJ Spokesman Criticizes PA Operations
--------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Security contacts report that a Preventive Security
(PSO) and Presidential Guard (PG) element arrested senior
al-Quds Brigades (PIJ military wing) leader Salih Abu Zayyad
in Jenin on May 11. Jenin PIJ spokesman Abd al-Fattah
Khzaymih told local press that PASF are "complementing the
Israel occupation's role in arresting and assassinating
Palestinian resistance fighters." He said PASF have
threatened to arrest him if he does not turn himself in, but
he will not comply, and warned that "PIJ will never lay down
the legitimate weapons of the resistance, even if dozens of
its cadres are arrested or assassinated." (Note: Khzaymih's
rhetoric has undergone a major shift since May 7, when he
said PIJ welcomes PA security efforts. End note).

Fayyad Tours Jenin, Lauds
PASF Law and Order Efforts
--------------------------

5. (SBU) PM Fayyad visited Jenin, Jenin Refugee Camp and
Qabatiya May 11 and said there has been considerable progress
in implementing the PA's security plan and establishing law
and order. Meeting with security chiefs and local leaders,
Fayyad commended PASF for initial successes and urged them to
continue efforts to improve security and the rule of law,
which he said will move Palestinians closer to ending the
occupation and establishing a state. He said the PA Cabinet
will soon approve almost 200 development projects for areas
affected by the separation barrier.

PA Complains of "Frustrating" IDF
Incursions that Disrupt PASF Efforts
------------------------------------

6. (SBU) West Bank NSF commander MG Thiab Ali (Abu al-Fatah)

JERUSALEM 00000791 002 OF 002


and Jenin NSF commander BG Sulayman Imran report multiple IDF
incursions into central Jenin, Jenin Refugee Camp, and the
Area A villages Burqin and al-Yamun (west of Jenin) late May
11/early May 12. They said the incursions are frustrating
and often target the same militant cells that the PA is
attempting to disrupt and arrest. PM Fayyad made similar
points in a conversation with the Consul General on May 12.
MG Ali said the PA will continue their security campaign
regardless of IDF interference, but Israeli involvement
provides ammunition for Hamas and PIJ to malign the PASF.
Police Chief Hazim Attallah told PolOff May 12 that there has
generally been less GOI interference in Jenin than in last
year's Nablus operation and the PA will work without excuses
to make its security campaign a success. Press report that
the IDF ransacked the homes of three PIJ militants and left
warnings with the militants' families, but departed Jenin
without making arrests.
WALLES

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