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Cablegate: The Situation On the Ground April 2, 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 002040

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 APRIL 2, 2004 -- (1400
HOURS LOCAL) -- ONE PALESTINIAN KILLED IN IDF INCURSION
INTO RAFAH

REF: TEL AVIV 1911

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

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

1. (SBU) Summary: One Palestinian was killed April 2 in a
heavy exchange of fire that erupted between IDF soldiers and
Palestinian militants during an IDF incursion into the
al-Salaam area of the Rafah refugee camp. On April 1, UNRWA
said in a press release that it was suspending delivery into
Gaza of food aid for Palestinian refugees due to the
unresolved issue of removing empty shipping containers from
Gaza (see reftel and Tel Aviv septel). UNRWA said that
failure to remove the empty shipping containers while still
bringing in full ones would result in a bottleneck and
prohibitive demurrage costs. In the West Bank, Israeli
police shot six Palestinians with rubber bullets and injured
about 30 other Palestinians with tear gas in response to
stone-throwing by some worshippers at the Haram al Sharif
complex April 2. The police made 20 arrests. Settlers in
Hebron beat up a Palestinian boy April 1, and threw stones at
an Arab bus in the northern West Bank, lightly injuring two
babies, according to press reports. End Summary.

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

2. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Death: Nil.

-- Injury: Israeli police shot six Palestinians with rubber
bullets and injured about 30 other Palestinians with tear gas
in response to stone-throwing by some worshippers at the
Haram al Sharif complex April 2. The police made 20 arrests.

-- Injury: Settlers in Hebron beat up a Palestinian boy April
1, according to press reports. One settler was also wounded
in the incident.

-- Injury: Settlers threw stones at an Arab bus in the
northern West Bank, lightly injuring two babies, according to
press reports.

-- Shooting: Palestinians shot at an IDF jeep near Janin
April 1, but caused no injuries.

3. (SBU) ARRESTS:

-- The IDF arrested seven Palestinians throughout the West
Bank April 1.

4. (SBU) DEMOLITIONS:

-- Palestinians reported that the IDF destroyed a house west
of Ramallah April 1. The house reportedly belonged to a
Hamas member, Mohammad Hasan Adnan, imprisoned in Israel.

5. (SBU) SETTLEMENT EXPANSION/EVACUATION:

-- Palestinians claimed that settlers took over four dunams
of agricultural land April 1 outside Al Khadar village, near
Bethlehem.

----
Gaza
----

6. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Death: UNRWA reported that one Palestinian was killed
April 1 during an IDF incursion into the al-Salaam area of
the Rafah refugee camp (see "Incursions").

-- Injuries: Nil.

-- Mortars/Rockets/Hand Grenades: The IDF reported
Palestinians April 1 fired one mortar at Kfar Darom
settlement, two mortars near Neve Dekalim, and one near
Netzer Hazani.

-- Shootings: The IDF reported one shooting attack near Gadid
settlement April 1.

-- Explosions: The IDF reported that two IEDs were discovered
and safely deactivated south of Nahal Oz Crossing April 1.

7. (SBU) INCURSIONS/DEMOLITIONS:
-- UNRWA reported that IDF tanks and jeeps entered the Rafah
refugee camp at approximately 0020 hours April 2, reportedly
to search for tunnels used for the smuggling. Palestinian
militants fired on the troops and one Palestinian man was
shot and killed in the ensuing heavy crossfire. The
operation was ongoing as of 1400 hours April 2.

8. (SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS/CHECKPOINTS:

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

-- Erez Crossing was closed to Palestinians laborers April 2,
but open for merchants over 28 years of age. The number of
merchants crossing April 2 was unavailable. 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 wait to
cross until they can join someone crossing in a diplomatic
vehicle. The Erez Industrial Zone was closed April 2 due to
a security alert, according to Israeli media.

-- Sufa Crossing was closed for Palestinian laborers April 2,
but open for the import into Gaza of aggregates used in
construction.

-- Karni Terminal was partially open for the import and
export of goods into the Gaza Strip. Unpacked goods may
enter, but no Palestinian shipping containers may enter or
exit. On April 1, UNRWA said in a press release that it was
suspending delivery into Gaza of food aid for Palestinian
refugees due to the unresolved issue of removing empty
shipping containers from Gaza (see reftel and Tel Aviv
septel). UNRWA said that failure to remove the empty
shipping containers while still bringing in full containers
would result in a bottleneck and prohibitive costs.

-- Rafah Terminal was open for Palestinian travelers.

-- Information on the status of Tel al-Sultan and Toufah
checkpoints April 2 was unavailable.

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