Cablegate: The Situation On the Ground: April 26, 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 03 TEL AVIV 002388
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 26, 2004 --
(1300 HOURS LOCAL) -- ONE BORDER GUARD KILLED AND THREE
WOUNDED APRIL 25 IN WEST BANK ATTACK
THIS IS A JOINT MESSAGE FROM EMBASSY TEL AVIV AND CONGEN
1. (SBU) Summary: Palestinian gunmen killed one Israeli
border policeman and wounded three others April 25 near Idna
village in the West Bank. The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
claimed responsibility for the attack. Also on April 25, an
Israeli undercover unit killed two al-Aqsa militants and
wounded a third in Janin; a civilian bystander was also
killed. In the Gaza Strip, IDF soldiers shot and injured
four Palestinians April 24-25, and Palestinians injured two
settlers April 25 in a rocket attack on Netzarim. Gazans
turned out to demonstrate in support of Yasir Arafat April
24-25, after statements by PM Sharon that he no longer felt
bound by his commitment to the United States not to target
the PA chairman. End Summary.
2. (SBU) ATTACKS:
-- Death/Injury: Palestinian gunmen killed one Israeli border
policeman April 25 near Idna village, west of Hebron. Three
other border policemen were wounded in the attack. The
gunmen escaped; al-Aqsa Martyrs, Brigades claimed
responsibility for the shooting.
-- Death: Palestinians killed a suspected collaborator April
25 in Bayt Rima village.
-- Death: An Israeli undercover unit killed two al-Aqsa
Brigades members and wounded a third in Janin April 25. A
civilian bystander was also killed.
-- Death: An Israeli undercover unit killed one PIJ member
and wounded another in Qabatiya April 25.
-- Death: al-Aqsa Brigades members killed a collaborator
April 23 in Tulkarem.
-- Injury: The IDF injured five Palestinians during clashes
in Nablus April 25.
-- Injury: The IDF injured four Palestinians April 26 during
clashes in Bayt Sahour. The IDF entered Bayt Sahour in
response to a shooting attack mounted from the village
against Har Homa settlement (see "Shooting").
-- Shooting: Palestinian gunmen fired shots at Har Homa
settlement south of Jerusalem April 26 from the direction of
Bayt Sahour village, east of Bethlehem. No one was injured
in the incident.
-- Shooting: Palestinian gunmen fired shots from Bayt Jala
village at Gilo settlement, south of Jerusalem, April 25, but
no one was injured. The IDF subsequently imposed a curfew on
Bayt Jala, which was still in effect as of the morning of
April 26, and entered the village to conduct searches.
3. (SBU) ARRESTS:
-- Palestinian sources reported that two international peace
activists, one of whom was reportedly American, were detained
by Israeli forces April 25 during a protest against the
separation barrier near Biddu village, northwest of
Jerusalem. The IDF used tear gas to disperse the
-- Israeli police announced the arrest April 25 of three
Palestinians suspected of killing one person and wounding
another in two separate shooting attacks in East Jerusalem
over the past month. Two of the suspects are from Kafr Aqab,
and one is from Ramallah.
-- The IDF arrested six Palestinians throughout the West Bank
4. (SBU) ATTACKS:
-- Deaths: Nil.
-- Injuries: Israeli media reported that two settlers were
lightly wounded April 25 in Netzarim when Palestinians fired
homemade rockets at the settlement.
-- Injury: One Palestinian was shot and injured April 25 when
the IDF fired on the Khan Yunis refugee camp, according to
UNRWA (see "Shootings").
-- Injuries: UNRWA reported that a 15-year-old Palestinian
boy was moderately wounded April 23 when the bomb he was
making exploded prematurely in Burayj camp. His two sisters
were also wounded by shrapnel in the blast.
-- Injury: UNRWA reported that a 60-year-old Palestinian man
and a 12-year-old Palestinian girl were shot and seriously
wounded April 23 in two separate incidents of IDF fire into
Block O of the Rafah refugee camp (see "Shootings").
-- Injury: One Palestinian was shot and injured April 23 when
IDF soldiers fired at a group of farmers working north of
Karni Crossing (see "Shootings").
-- Mortars/Rockets/Hand Grenades: The IDF reported that 11
mortar shells and one anti-tank missile were fired at
settlements and IDF outposts April 24-16.
-- Shootings: The IDF reported a total of three shooting
attacks initiated by Palestinians against IDF targets April
24-26, and another three IDF-initiated shootings in the same
time frame. One Palestinian was wounded in each of the
IDF-initiated shooting incidents, according to the IDF.
5. (SBU) ARRESTS:
-- UNRWA reported that the IDF arrested one Palestinian from
the Jabaliyah refugee camp April 23 at the Abu Khouli
checkpoint during routine vehicle checks.
6. (SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS/CHECKPOINTS:
-- Route Four (Salahadeen Road), the main north-south traffic
artery, was open for Palestinians.
-- Erez Crossing and the Erez Industrial Zone were both
closed April 24-26.
-- Sufa Crossing was closed for Palestinian laborers April
24-26. Sufa was also closed for the import into Gaza of
aggregates used in construction.
-- Karni Terminal was open April 24 for the import and export
of goods into the Gaza Strip, but closed April 25.
-- Rafah Terminal was open April 24-25 for Palestinian
-- Tel al-Sultan checkpoint was closed April 24-26. Toufah
checkpoint was open for residents of al-Mowassi April 24-26.
7. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:
-- PM Sharon said in a speech April 23 that he no longer
feels bound by his commitment to the United States not to
target PA Chairman Yasir Arafat. Following Sharon's
statements, UNRWA reported that approximately 5,000 Fatah
supporters, PA officials and armed men marched from the PLC
compound to the Presidential Office in Gaza April 24 in a
show of support for PA Chairman Yasir Arafat. Additional
demonstrations in support of Arafat were held throughout the
Gaza Strip April 24-25.
-- Approximately 25,000 Palestinians held a rally April 23 in
the Khan Yunis stadium to commemorate the death of former
Hamas leader Abdul al-Aziz al-Rantisi.
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