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Cablegate: Gaza Crossings Closed for Second Day; Qassam Lands

VZCZCXRO3864
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1096 1781354
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 261354Z JUN 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1918
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JCS WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001096

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWBG IS PGOV PTER ASEC
SUBJECT: GAZA CROSSINGS CLOSED FOR SECOND DAY; QASSAM LANDS
IN OPEN AREA NEAR SDEROT


1. (SBU) One Qassam rocket struck an open area near Sderot's
industrial zone at about 1245 local on June 26. No injuries
or damage resulted, and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed
responsibility. UN and Palestinian contacts report that IDF
troops at Kerem Shalom fired on Palestinians approximately
500 meters from the perimeter fence outside Rafah, but no
injuries were reported.

2. (SBU) UN, Palestinian and NGO contacts report that all
Gaza Strip crossings were closed on June 26 except for Erez
pedestrian crossing, which was open to around 20 Palestinians
(mostly medical patients) whom the GOI granted advance
permits. The manager of the Gaza power plant said on June 26
that the plant has enough industrial fuel to operate until
the afternoon of June 28, as the last fuel shipment from
Nahal Oz fuel transfer station occurred on June 24. The
plant generates roughly 30 percent of Gaza's power supply.

3. (SBU) Hamas statements to the press on June 25 called the
GOI's closing of Gaza crossings a "violation of the
ceasefire" and called on Egyptian officials to press Israel
to open the crossings. The statements also said Hamas is
committed to the ceasefire and called on all factions to
abide by it. PIJ leader Da'ud Shihab told the press after
meeting with Hamas leader Sa'id Siyam on June 25 that PIJ
will abide by the ceasefire and will not fire rockets
unilaterally. Siyam told local press on June 25 that all
factions have agreed to refrain from unilateral actions and
participate in a "crisis management cell" that will convene
"to assess the situation in the event of any Israeli
violation of the ceasefire." DFLP leaders said the main
factions in this cell are Hamas, PIJ, the PFLP, DFLP and
Fatah.
WALLES

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