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Cablegate: The Situation On the Ground March 19, 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 001705

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 19, 2004 --
(1500 HOURS LOCAL) -- IDF SOLDIERS, PALESTINIANS INJURED IN
INCURSION NEAR NETZARIM

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

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

1. (SBU) Four IDF soldiers were injured when a bomb exploded
near their tank during an incursion into the Gaza Strip near
Netzarim. According to UNRWA, at least four Palestinians
were injured during the incursion. In the West Bank, the IDF
arrested seven Palestinians and destroyed the home of a
suicide bomber. End Summary.

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

2. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Death: Nil.

-- Injury: Nil.

-- Shootings: Shots were fired at IDF patrols in Tulkarm,
Nablus, and Jenin on March 18. No injuries were reported.

3. (SBU) DEMOLITIONS/ARRESTS:

-- The IDF demolished the Bethlehem home of a Fatah suicide
bomber who detonated his charge in February 2002.

-- The IDF arrested seven Palestinians from across the West
Bank on March 18.

----
GAZA
----

4. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Deaths: A Palestinian injured during the March 17 IDF
Rafah incursion died of his wounds on March 19.

-- Injuries: According to Israeli media reports, four IDF
soldiers were lightly wounded near Netzarim by a bomb that
exploded near their tank. UNRWA reported that from four to
six Palestinians were injured during the incursion. (See
"Incursions," below.) UNRWA reported that one Palestinian
was injured by IDF gunfire in Rafah at 1000 hours March 19.
-- Mortars/Rockets/Hand Grenades: The IDF reported that a
mortar shell was fired at an IDF outpost north of Rafah at
approximately 2100 hours March 18. A second mortar shell was
fired at an IDF outpost east of Khan Yunis at approximately
2130 hours March 18, according to the IDF. At 2135 hours an
anti-tank missile was fired at an IDF APC northwest of Karni
Crossing on March 17. UNRWA reported that Palestinians fired
two mortar shells at Neve Dekelim at 0015 hours March 19.

-- Shootings: The IDF reported that Palestinians shot at an
IDF APC northwest of Karni Crossing at approximately 1700
hours March 18. UNRWA reported that Palestinians fired at an
IDF tank near Rafah at 2005 hours March 18.

-- Explosions: See "Injuries," above.

5. (SBU) ARRESTS: According to Israel Radio, two wanted
Hamas activists were arrested in the course of the incursion
near Netzarim.

6. (SBU) INCURSIONS/DEMOLITIONS: UNRWA reported that the
IDF entered a village south of Netzarim at 0325 hours March
19. Israel Radio reported that the operation ended by 1200
hours that day.

7. (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 19. The Erez Industrial Zone was open, with 1,392
workers entering the Zone on March 19.

-- Sufa Crossing was closed during the reporting period.

-- Karni Terminal was closed 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 was open for people to cross out
of the Gaza Strip and Toufah checkpoint was open for women,
children under 12-year-old, and males over 35 years-old on
March 19, according to UNRWA.

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