Cablegate: The Situation On the Ground April 1, 2004 -- (1400
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 001968
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 APRIL 1, 2004 -- (1400
HOURS LOCAL) -- DIRECT DEPOSIT OF SECURITY FORCE SALARIES
GOES INTO EFFECT APRIL 1; ONE PALESTINIAN INJURED IN WEST
BANK ANTI-FENCE DEMO
THIS IS A JOINT MESSAGE FROM EMBASSY TEL AVIV AND CONGEN
1. (SBU) Direct deposit for all PA security forces is
scheduled to begin April 1 (see Jerusalem septel). Civilian
PA workers are scheduled to have their salaries deposited
April 3. At least one Palestinian was injured March 31 when
the IDF forcefully broke up an anti-barrier demonstration
near Bayt Liqya village. Details of the Burns/Hadley meeting
scheduled to be held in Jericho April 1 was leaked to the
Palestinian press, which published information on the venue
and time in the April 1 newspapers. The situation was
relatively quiet in Gaza March 31-April 1, with a total of
seven mortar/missile attacks overnight, but no injuries
reported. End Summary.
2. (SBU) ATTACKS:
-- Death: Nil.
-- Injury: At least one Palestinian, Mohammad Hamed al Fakih,
was injured March 31 when the IDF forcefully broke up an
anti-barrier demonstration near Bayt Liqya village.
-- Shooting: Nil.
-- Stone-Throwing: Palestinians threw stones at an IDF jeep
patrolling in Shaufat refugee camp March 31, and the IDF
responded by firing tear gas at the stone-throwers.
3. (SBU) ARRESTS:
-- The IDF March 31 arrested 12 Palestinian militants who had
hidden in a mental hospital in Bethlehem. The army and the
gunmen inside exchanged fire for about two hours before the
arrest operation was completed.
4. (SBU) SETTLEMENTS:
-- The IDF removed two containers from a settler site known
as Bat Ayin West-West March 31.
5. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:
-- Direct deposit for all PA security forces is scheduled to
begin April 1 (see Jerusalem septel). Civilian PA workers
are scheduled to have their salaries deposited April 3.
-- Details of the Burns/Hadley meeting scheduled to be held
in Jericho April 1 were leaked to the Palestinian press,
which published information on the venue and time in the
April 1 newspapers.
6. (SBU) ATTACKS:
-- Deaths: Nil.
-- Injuries: Nil.
-- Mortars/Rockets/Hand Grenades: The IDF reported that
Palestinians fired a single mortar shell at Morag settlement,
and three shells at IDF outposts near Khan Yunis March 31.
Also on March 31, one anti-tank missile was fired at an IDF
outpost near Khan Yunis and another at an IDF outpost south
of Rafah. One anti-tank missile was fired at Kfar Darom
settlement April 1. No injuries were reported in any of
-- Shootings: The IDF reported a total of five shooting
attacks March 31-April 1: two near Khan Yunis, and one each
near Katif settlement, Netzarim, and Ha Orchan Crossing.
-- Explosions: The IDF found and successfully disabled an IED
south of Nahal Oz Crossing March 31, according to the IDF.
7. (SBU) DETENTION/ARRESTS:
-- UNRWA reported that IDF gunboats fired on a Palestinian
fishing boat off the coast of Dayr al-Balah March 31.
Soldiers interrogated the five fisherman on board, but
released them without arrest.
8. (SBU) INCURSIONS/DEMOLITIONS:
-- UNRWA reported that IDF troops occupied a Palestinian home
near Netzarim the evening of March 31. The troops restricted
the family to one room of the house and then used the house
as a lookout overnight. The IDF relinquished control of the
house the morning of April 1.
9. (SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS/CHECKPOINTS:
-- Route Four (Salahadeen Road), the main north-south traffic
artery, was open for Palestinians.
-- Erez Crossing was closed to Palestinian laborers April 1,
but open for merchants over 28 years old; 214 merchants
crossed into Israel April 1. The IDF also allowed diplomats
in vehicles and internationals on foot to cross. UN
agencies, however, refuse to authorize their non-diplomatic
staff to cross on foot; staff must therefore wait to cross
until they can join someone crossing in a diplomatic vehicle.
The Erez Industrial Zone was open April 1, with 3,655
workers entering the Zone.
-- Catch-up for Erez Crossing: 182 merchants age 28 years or
older entered Israel March 31.
-- Catch-up for Erez Industrial Zone: 1,978 workers entered
the Zone March 31.
-- Sufa Crossing was closed for Palestinian laborers April 1,
but open for the import into Gaza of aggregates used in
-- Karni Terminal was partially open April 1 for the import
and export of goods into the Gaza Strip. Unpacked goods may
enter, but no Palestinian containers may enter or exit.
-- Rafah Terminal was open for Palestinian travelers.
-- Tel al-Sultan checkpoint was closed April 1. Toufah
checkpoint was open for the exit of residents of al-Mowassi
April 1 without restriction; Toufah was also open for
re-entry after prior coordination with Palestinian
authorities and COGAT.
10. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS
-- UNRWA reported that approximately 200 PFLP members
gathered March 31 at the headquarters of the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), calling on the
international community to intervene and gain the release of
Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails. The
protesters dispersed peacefully after one hour.
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