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Cablegate: The Situation On the Ground: March 5, 2004 (1400

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 001395

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

NEA FOR BURNS/SATTERFIELD
NEA/SA/EX FOR AUSTIN-FERGUSON; DEPT FOR DS/IP/NEA;
DEPT FOR DS/IP/ITA; DRL FOR A/S CRANER;
NSC FOR ABRAMS/DANIN;
USAID FOR DCHA, DCHA/FPP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWBG PTER ASEC PHUM CASC KPAL IS GZ
SUBJECT: THE SITUATION ON THE GROUND: MARCH 5, 2004 (1400
HOURS LOCAL) -- CLOSURE IMPOSED ON THE TERRITORIES DURING
PURIM HOLIDAY; FOUR WOUNDED IN TWO SHOOTINGS IN GAZA


THIS IS A JOINT MESSAGE FROM EMBASSY TEL AVIV AND CONGEN
JERUSALEM.

1. (SBU) Summary: The IDF imposed a total closure on the
West Bank and the Gaza Strip March 5 for the Purim holiday,
preventing even Palestinians with permits from entering
Israel. The IDF said it would make exceptions only in cases
of medical emergency. The closure is expected to last until
March 9. In Gaza, a total of four Palestinians were shot and
wounded March 4 in two separate incidents: one near the
border fence with Egypt and one on the Karni-Netzarim Road.
End Summary.

---------
West Bank
---------

2. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Death: Nil.

-- Injury: Nil.

3. (SBU) SECURITY DEVELOPMENTS:

-- The IDF imposed a total closure on the West Bank March 5
for the Purim holiday, preventing even Palestinians with
permits from entering Israel. The IDF said it would make
exceptions only in cases of medical emergency. The closure
is expected to last until March 9.

-- The IDF entered Hebron on March 4 and raided the Hebron
University, arresting two members of the Islamic bloc of the
student body. The pair was later released from custody.
After leaving the university, the IDF raided a Palestinian
police station in Hebron.

-- IDF soldiers entered Nablus on March 4 and arrested two PA
policemen and two PA military intelligence officers before
withdrawing.

-- IDF forces entered Kfur Haris in search of what they said
was a would-be suicide bomber, but later withdrew from the
city without arresting anyone.

-- Israeli troops left a home in the Huwwara village on March
4 which they had turned into an IDF observation post. The
soldiers had reportedly forced the owners of the house to
live on only the first floor.

4. (SBU) DEMOLITIONS/CONFISCATIONS:

-- The IDF began clearing land for the separation barrier
near Salfit and Dayr Qadis on March 4. The land near Salfit
will be used to construct an "elbow" around the Ariel
settlement.

-- Settlers in Hebron seized a home belonging to the al-Batsh
family on March 4, before being evacuated by Israeli police.

----------
Gaza Strip
----------

5. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Deaths: Nil.

-- Injuries: UNRWA reported that two Palestinians were shot
and injured March 4 in Rafah during an exchange of gunfire
between an IDF force and Palestinian gunmen near the border
fence with Egypt.

-- Injuries: UNRWA reported that two Palestinians were
injured during an exchange of gunfire that took place on the
Karni-Netzarim Road March 4.

-- Catch-up item: Injuries: a Palestinian woman was wounded
in the knee March 3 when an IDF tank fired into the Brazil
Quarter of the Rafah refugee camp, according to UNRWA.

-- Mortars/Rockets: The IDF reported that a total of four
mortars and one anti-tank missile were fired March 4-5 in the
vicinity of Khan Yunis. Three anti-tank missiles were fired
near Netzarim March 4, according to the IDF.

-- Shootings: The IDF reported one shooting attack near Rafah
March 4 and one near Morag March 5.

6. (SBU) INCURSIONS/DEMOLITIONS:

-- UNRWA reported that one house was destroyed and 12 more
were damaged during the March 4 incursion into the Zorub area
of Rafah. Water, electricity and phone lines in the area
were also destroyed, and a mosque was also damaged.

-- UNRWA reported that three tanks and three bulldozers
demolished eight greenhouses and uprooted 12 dunams of fruit
trees near Morag March 4.

7. (SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS/CHECKPOINTS

-- Route Four (Salahadeen Road), the main north-south traffic
artery, was open for Palestinians March 5.

-- Erez Crossing was closed March 5 for all Palestinians, but
open for internationals to cross into Israel. The Erez
Industrial Zone was open March 5, but the number of workers
who entered the Zone was unavailable.

-- Sufa Crossing was closed for Palestinian workers and for
the import into Gaza of aggregates used in construction March
5.

-- Karni Terminal was closed for the import and export of
goods into the Gaza Strip.

-- Rafah Terminal was open for Palestinian travelers March 5.

-- Tel al-Sultan and Tofah checkpoints were closed March 5.

8. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:

-- UNRWA reported that a demonstration of approximately 100
people took place March 3 on Nasser Street in Gaza City. The
people called on the PA to impose the death penalty on the
murderers of a girl killed in Gaza three months ago and whose
body was found near the landfill on the east side of the city.

-- On March 4, approximately 500 women from the Palestinian
Association of Women's Committees for Social Work organized a
demonstration in Gaza City protesting the continued
construction of the West Bank separation barrier, according
to UNRWA. The women dispersed peacefully after presenting a
letter addressed to the UN Secretary General at the UNSCO
compound.

------
Israel
------

9. (SBU) Israeli media reported that a 22-year-old Jewish
man, Eliran Golani, was indicted March 4 in Haifa for
allegedly planting 12 explosive devices against Arabs in the
Khalissa Quarter of Haifa. A total of three people,
including one child, were lightly injured in his various
attacks. The police claimed that Golani was the head of an
extremist, right-wing group, and had planted bombs under
cars, in a mosque, and had also intended to target
Israeli-Arab MKs.

********************************************* ********************
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv

You can also access this site through the State Department's
Classified SIPRNET website.
********************************************* ********************
KURTZER

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