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Cablegate: Gaza Strip Largely Quiet; Crossings Reopen For

VZCZCXRO6419
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1114 1821309
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 301309Z JUN 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1938
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JCS WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001114

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWBG IS PGOV PTER ASEC
SUBJECT: GAZA STRIP LARGELY QUIET; CROSSINGS REOPEN FOR
LIMITED FUEL/HUMANITARIAN AID

1. (SBU) Two mortars were fired from Gaza late June 28, but
no impacts were reported on the Israeli side of the perimeter
fence, and no injuries/damage were reported. Palestinian
press report the Israeli Navy fired on fishing boats off the
coast near Dayr al-Balah (central Gaza) on June 28, without
causing any injuries or damage.

2. (SBU) UN, Palestinian and NGO contacts report that Sufa
crossing was open June 29-30, allowing roughly 80 truckloads
of commercial and humanitarian products on both days. The
Karni/al-Mintar commercial crossing was closed June 29-30,
although the conveyer belt near that crossing continued
transfers of grains and animal feed into Gaza. Erez
pedestrian crossing was open on July 29-30 to several
international NGO employees and 25 medical patients that had
pre-arranged departure with the GOI. The director of the
Gaza Fuel Agency said Nahal Oz fuel transfer station was open
June 29-30 for limited shipments of industrial fuel, diesel,
gasoline, and cooking gas. The Fuel Agency said that GOI
plans to allow 2.2 million liters of industrial fuel, 880,000
liters of diesel, 75,000 liters of gasoline, and 800 tons of
cooking gas into Gaza from June 29-July 4, an amount set by
the IDF, not by terminal capacity or demand (both of which
are much higher). Rafah crossing was closed June 28-29.
Palestinian press report that the crossing will be open on
July 1-2 for students, medical cases and Palestinians who
reside abroad.

3. (SBU) Hamas leader Mahmud al-Zahar told press June 28
that Hamas will disarm and arrest anyone who violates the
ceasefire. Hamas-controlled police detained al-Aqsa Martyrs
Brigades spokesman Muhammad Irmanah (Abu Qusay) in Rafah on
June 29, releasing him late the same day, after Abu Qusay
issued a statement that claimed the al-Aqsa Brigades will
continue to fire rockets and that Hamas and other factions
have betrayed the Palestinian resistance by accepting a
Gaza-only ceasefire. (Note: Al-Aqsa militants in the West
Bank threatened June 29 to attack Hamas members in the West
Bank if Abu Qusay was not immediately released. End note).
Separately, Fatah released names of 49 faction members jailed
by Hamas, and alleged that family members of the arrestees
have been prevented from visiting. Fatah contacts said Hamas
security men arrested five additional Fatah activists in Bayt
Lahiya on June 28.

4. (U) PIJ leader Khalid al-Batsh told press June 29 that
the Gaza ceasefire will eventually collapse if Gaza's
crossings remain closed or restricted. He said PIJ and Hamas
have a common position on the ceasefire and Hamas is
preparing for future confrontations with Israel.

WALLES

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