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Cablegate: The Situation On the Ground March 18, 2004 --

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 001684

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 18, 2004 --
(1600 HOURS LOCAL) -- SIX PALESTINIANS INJURED IN GAZA

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

--------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) In Gaza, the IDF ended its operation to search for
tunnels at 2100 hours March 17. UNRWA reported that six
Palestinians were injured in Rafah between 1500 and 2100
March 17.. The Israeli High Court ordered on March 17 that
work on the barrier northwest of Jerusalem be postponed
indefinitely. No conflict-related deaths or injuries were
reported in the West Bank during the reporting period. End
Summary.

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

2. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Death: Nil.

-- Injury: Nil.

-- Shooting: Shots were fired at an Israeli car traveling
north of Ramallah on March 17. No injuries were reported.

3. (SBU) SECURITY DEVELOPMENTS/ARRESTS:

-- The Israeli High Court ordered on March 17 that work on
the separation barrier northwest of Jerusalem be postponed
indefinitely.

-- Israeli troops arrested 21 Palestinians across the West
Bank on March 17.

-- Palestinian activists planned a demonstration against the
separation barrier in Deir Qaddis on March 18.

----
GAZA
----

4. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Deaths: Nil.

-- Injuries: UNRWA reported that an additional six
Palestinians were injured during the reporting period during
an IDF action to search for tunnels in Rafah that began early
on March 17. UNRWA reported that the incursion ended at 2100
hours March 17, when IDF forces withdrew.

-- Mortars/Rockets/Hand Grenades: The IDF reported that a
mortar was fired at an IDF outpost near Katif village at 2130
hours March 17. The IDF also reported that an explosive
device was found southeast of an IDF outpost west of Rafah at
approximately 1600 hours March 17.

-- Shootings: The IDF reported three shootings at IDF
soldiers and APCs during the reporting period.

-- Explosions: Nil.

5. (SBU) ARRESTS: Nil.

6. (SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS/CHECKPOINTS

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

-- Erez Crossing was open to Palestinians. Diplomats in
vehicles and internationals on foot were allowed to cross on
March 17. The Erez Industrial Zone was open, with 3,769
workers entering the Zone on March 17.

-- Sufa Crossing was closed during the reporting period.

-- Karni Terminal was open during the reporting period for
the import and export of goods into the Gaza Strip.

-- Rafah Terminal was open for Palestinian travelers.

-- Tel al-Sultan checkpoint and Toufah checkpoint were
closed, according to UNRWA.

7. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:

According to the major Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth,
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has ordered a halt to
the transportation of containers through the Karni Terminal
to Israel after a container with a secret compartment was
found at Ashdod port March 17. Israeli officials believe the
container, which passed through the Karni Terminal, was used
to transport the two Palestinian suicide bombers who killed
ten Israelis at the port on Sunday, March 14.

********************************************* ********************
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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