Cablegate: The Situation On the Ground April 28, 2004 --
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TEL AVIV 002416
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 28, 2004 --
(1300 HOURS LOCAL) -- FOUR SOLDIERS WOUNDED APRIL 28 AS IDF
THWARTS SUICIDE ATTACK IN GAZA
THIS IS A JOINT MESSAGE FROM EMBASSY TEL AVIV AND CONGEN
1. (SBU) Summary: Israeli media reported that four Israelis
were injured, one seriously, in an attempted suicide car
bombing April 28 when a jeep exploded under IDF gunfire as it
was speeding towards the settlement of Kfar Darom. Three
Palestinians were killed April 26 in the Mughazi camp in an
argument that apparently broke out when two of the men tried
to seize an explosive belt from the third at gunpoint. Hamas
issued a statement declaring that the two men who attempted
to seize the belt were Israeli collaborators who tried to
detain the third, who was a Hamas militant planning to use
the belt in a suicide attack. In the West Bank, the IDF
killed two Palestinians alleged to be members of Hamas in
Tulkarem. The operation, in which another Palestinian was
wounded, led to subsequent clashes in Tulkarem, injuring an
additional six Palestinians. Israel border police detained
Al-Quds University President Sari Nussaybah for five hours of
questioning on April 28.
2. (SBU) ATTACKS:
-- Death/Injury: The IDF killed two Palestinians April 27 in
Tulkarm. The two were reported to be members of Hamas.
Another Palestinian was wounded in the operation and
subsequently arrested. Clashes in Tulkarm following this
incident left another six Palestinians injured.
-- Injury: nil
-- Shooting: Palestinian gunmen shot at IDF jeeps in the
Tulkarm and Janin areas on April 27, but no one was injured.
3. (SBU) ARRESTS:
-- The IDF arrested 11 Palestinians throughout the West Bank
during the night between April 27 and 28.
-- Israeli police arrested a teenage Palestinian girl in
Jerusalem who was carrying a large knife. Press reports
indicated she was suspected of planning to stab policemen.
-- Israeli border police detained Al-Quds University
President Sari Nussaybah for five hours of questioning on
April 28. Nussaybah's offense, according to the Israeli
police spokesman, was allowing West Bank Palestinians to work
at the AQU campus in the Beit Hanina section of Jerusalem
without permits to enter Israel. Nussaybah was released
without any charges filed.
4. (SBU) CURFEWS/CLOSURES:
-- Bayt Sahour was still under curfew April 27, after a
weekend shooting attack against nearby Har Homa settlement.
5. (SBU) ATTACKS:
-- Deaths: Three Palestinians were killed April 26 in the
Mughazi camp when an argument apparently broke out between
three men. Two of the men reportedly tried to seize an
explosive belt from the third at gunpoint. Hamas issued a
statement declaring that the two men who attempted to seize
the belt were Israeli collaborators who tried to detain the
third, who was a Hamas militant planning to use the belt in a
-- Death/Injuries: Israeli media reported that four IDF
soldiers were injured, one seriously, in an attempted suicide
car bombing April 28 when a jeep exploded under IDF gunfire
as it was speeding towards the settlement of Kfar Darom. The
Palestinian driver of the jeep was killed in the blast (see
-- Death/Injury: UNRWA and Israeli media reported that a
14-year-old Palestinian boy was shot and killed April 26 when
he and a group of teenagers gathered near the fence of the
Nissanit settlement to watch IDF armored vehicles operating
in the area of Bayt Lahiyah. According to press reports, an
IDF sniper shot the boy using live ammunition. Several hours
later, a larger group gathered and threw stones at the IDF
vehicles. One Palestinian was injured when the IDF responded
with live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets and tear gas.
-- UNRWA reported that two Palestinians, ages 14 and 15, were
shot and injured April 27 near Bayt Lahiyah when IDF soldiers
responded to stone-throwing with tear gas, rubber-coated
bullets, and live fire ammunition.
-- Injuries: UNRWA reported that a 17-year-old Palestinian
woman was shot and seriously injured April 26 when IDF
soldiers opened fire on her as she approached the border of
the Slaw settlement. Palestinian sources said that the woman
was mentally handicapped; IDF officials said that the
soldiers opened fire on her when she ran towards the
settlement, thinking that she meant to attack them.
-- Mortars/Rockets/Hand Grenades: The IDF reported a total of
10 mortar shells fired at IDF outposts and Israeli
settlements April 26-28. No injuries were reported.
-- Shootings: The IDF reported four shooting attacks April
-- Explosions: UNRWA and Israeli media reported that a
Palestinian attempting to drive an explosive-laden jeep into
Kfar Darom settlement was sighted by IDF soldiers who opened
fire on him. The jeep, apparently disguised as an IDF
vehicle, exploded before reaching the settlement, killing the
driver and wounding four IDF soldiers.
-- Explosions: UNRWA reported that unknown Palestinians blew
up two coffee shops in Burayj camp in the early morning hours
of April 27. PA police are investigating; no injuries were
-- Explosions: UNRWA reported that Palestinians exploded an
IED April 26 near an IDF armored vehicle patrolling near Bayt
Hanoun. No injuries were reported. The al-Aqsa Brigades
claimed responsibility for the attack.
-- Explosions: UNRWA reported that Palestinians exploded an
IED April 26 near an IDF armored vehicle patrolling the
border fence with Egypt. No injuries were reported. The
al-Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.
6. (SBU) INCURSIONS/DEMOLITIONS:
-- UNRWA reported that an IDF bulldozer and two tanks
uprooted 10 dunams of olive trees near Khan Yunis April 26.
7. (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 both remained
closed April 27-28, despite earlier GOI statements that they
would re-open after Independence Day April 27.
-- Sufa Crossing was closed April 27-28 for Palestinian
laborers and for the import of construction materials.
-- Karni Terminal was open April 27-28 for the import and
export of goods into the Gaza Strip.
-- Rafah Terminal was open April 27-28 for Palestinian
travelers under age 16 and over age 35.
-- Tel al-Sultan checkpoint was closed April 27-28. Toufah
checkpoint was open for residents of al-Mowassi.
8. (SBU) POLITICIAL DEVELOPMENTS:
-- Israeli media reported that approximately 60-70,000
Israelis gathered in the Gush Katif settlement bloc April 27
to mark Israeli independence day and to show support for the
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