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Cablegate: Pa Claims Successes in Public Order/Anti-Hamas

VZCZCXRO0889
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1279 2001303
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181303Z JUL 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2169
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001279

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWBG PTER PGOV IS
SUBJECT: PA CLAIMS SUCCESSES IN PUBLIC ORDER/ANTI-HAMAS
CAMPAIGN IN QALQILIYA AREA

1. (SBU) Summary. National Security Forces (NSF), police
and General Intelligence (GI) contacts told PolOff and POL
FSN July 16-17 that the PA has arrested 17 Hamas activists
and criminals in an intensification of ongoing security
efforts in Qalqiliya and villages near Tulkarm and Salfit.
Security commanders report dispersing scattered protests
against NSF patrols and dismantling/flattening 31
stolen/unregistered vehicles July 15-17. They said increased
activity levels will start tapering off by July 20 and then
focus on maintaining security improvements. End summary.

NSF, Police Ramp Up Anti-Hamas,
Public Order Efforts; 17 Arrested
---------------------------------

2. (SBU) National Security Forces (NSF), police and General
Intelligence (GI) contacts told PolOff and POL FSN July 16-17
that the PA has arrested 17 Hamas activists and criminals in
the greater Qalqiliya area, including Area B villages near
Tulkarm and Salfit. According to Qalqiliya NSF commander BG
Faysal al-Bishtawi, the NSF arrested Hamas activist Ahmad Abd
al-Qadr Da'as and four other Palestinians in Qalqiliya on
July 16. He said the NSF also dispersed Hizb al-Tahrir
(Liberation Party) and Hamas protesters who sought to prevent
the NSF from crossing the tunnel that connects Qalqiliya and
Habla village. PA police report confiscating and
dismantling/flattening 31 stolen/unregistered vehicles July
15-17 as part of this security campaign.

3. (SBU) The NSF detained seven residents of Baqat al-Hatab
(Area B, east of Qalqiliya) for obstructing the PA's patrols
and vehicle inspections, and confiscated two rifles and
ammunition from them. (Note: The named arrestees were Rushdi
Samara, Ahmad Amr, Qusay Barghuthi, Abd Jamal Farid, Ibrahim
Sa'id Barghuthi, Abd al-Hafiz Ali Muhammad and Rushdi Wasif.
End note).

4. (SBU) GI contacts report detaining five Hamas activists
in villages around Qalqiliya, Tulkarm and Salfit July 14-16,
naming the arrestees as: Mahmud Assi, Ibrahim Mustafa Awad
Miri, Ibrahim Abd al-Aziz Musa Assi, Umar Abd al-Aziz Musa
Assi, and Adnan Abd al-Latif Jamal.

Campaign Relies Mostly on Local Resources
-----------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Senior NSF officers told PolOff July 17 that the
campaign is an intensification of ongoing security efforts
and relies almost exclusively on existing local security
personnel and resources. They said they expect increased
security activity to start tapering off by July 20, and will
then focus on maintaining security improvements.
LAPENN

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