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Cablegate: Wb/G Sitrep: One Soldier Killed, Four Injured

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 006197

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

NEA FOR BURNS/SATTERFIELD/DIBBLE;
NEA/SA/EX FOR RICHIE; DEPT FOR DS/IP/ITA; DEPT FOR
DS/IP/NEA;
DRL FOR A/S CRANER; NSC FOR ABRAMS/DANIN;
USAID FOR DCHA, DCHA/FPP, PRM FOR DEWEY/GREENE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWBG PHUM PREL PTER ASEC CASC GZ IS
SUBJECT: WB/G SITREP: ONE SOLDIER KILLED, FOUR INJURED
DURING GAZA INCURSION: DECEMBER 7, 2004 (1200 HOURS LOCAL)


This is a joint ConGen Jerusalem/Embassy Tel Aviv cable.

1. (SBU) Summary: A member of the IDF canine unit and his
dog were killed near Karni Crossing December 7 when an IED
exploded as soldiers were conducting a search for weapons.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. Four additional
IDF soldiers were injured in the ensuing gun battle as they
attempted to extricate the soldier, and at least 7
Palestinians were also injured, three of whom later died of
their injuries. A PIJ militant was killed in a missile
strike cinducted from a UAV in the same area later in the
morning. A total of 180 agricultural laborers were allowed
to enter Israel at Erez for work December 7, for the first
time in months. A limited number of merchants are also being
allowed to enter on a daily basis. In the West Bank, the IDF
arrested 27 Palestinians in the West Bank on security charges
on December 6, and destroyed a multi-story residential
building in East Jerusalem for lack of a building permit.
End Summary.

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

2. (SBU) ATTACKS/SECURITY:
-- Deaths: Nil.

-- Injuries: Nil.

-- Arrests: The IDF arrested 27 Palestinians in the West Bank
primarily in Nablus, Qalqilya and Bethlehem, on security
charges December 6, according to Palestinian sources.

-- Demolitions: The IDF destroyed a multi-story residential
building and two shops in the Jabl Muqabr neighborhood of
East Jerusalem for lack of a building permit, according to
Israeli media and local activists. This is the seventh
demolition in ten days in the Jerusalem area.

3. (SBU) SEPARATION BARRIER: Barrier construction is
underway east of Neve Yaakov settlement in Jerusalem, next to
built-up areas in al-Ram.

----
Gaza
----

4. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Deaths/Injuries: The IDF reported that a member of the IDF
canine unit and his dog were killed in the early morning
hours December 7 when an IED exploded as they were conducting
a search for weapons in the area between the Nahal Oz and the
Karni Crossings. Hamas claimed responsibility for the
attack. Four additional IDF soldiers were injured in the
ensuing gun battle as they attempted to extricate the
soldier. At least 7 Palestinians were also injured, three of
whom later died. Israeli media reported that a PIJ militant
was killed in an IAF missile strike conducted from a UAV in
the same area later in the morning (see
"Incursions/Demolitions").

-- Injuries: The IDF reported that shrapnel injured one
Palestinian worker December 6 near Neve Dekalim settlement
(see "Mortars/Rockets").

-- Catch-up item: Injuries: UNRWA reported that two
Palestinians were injured December 5 in the al-Barahma area
of the Rafah refugee camp during an exchange of fire between
Palestinians militants and IDF soldiers.

-- Mortars/Rockets: The IDF reported that Palestinian
militants fired one Qassam rocket into Israel near Kibbutz Or
Haner and four mortar shells at Neve Dekalim settlement
December 6. One Palestinian worker was injured in the mortar
attack on Neve Dekalim, according to the IDF.

-- Explosions: The IDF reported that IDF soldiers found and
safely disposed of a 40-kilogram explosive device near the
Sufa Crossing December 6. Hamas militants detonated an
explosive device near the Karni Crossing December 7, killing
an IDF soldier, according to the IDF (see Deaths/Injuries"
and "Incursions/Demolitions").

5. (SBU) INCURSIONS/DEMOLITIONS:

-- UNRWA reported that IDF undercover units, supported
subsequently by APCs and IAF helicopters, entered the area
between the Nahal Oz and Karni Crossings just after midnight
December 7 to search for weapons, according to IDF and
Israeli media reports. Militants gathered to repel the
incursion. One IDF soldier and his bomb-sniffing dog were
killed when an IED detonated, and four other soldiers were
wounded trying to recover the body. The clashes continued
throughout the night and into the day, with a total of two
Palestinians reported killed and at least ten more injured,
according to UNRWA. The operation is ongoing as of 1200
hours.

-- UNRWA reported that three IDF bulldozers and five armored
vehicles entered eastern al-Qarara (south of the Kissufim
road, near Khan Yunis) December 5, uprooting 30 dunams of
olive trees before withdrawing.

6. (SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS:

-- Route Four (Salahadeen Road), the main north-south traffic
artery, was open December 7, with a major detour at Netzarim
Junction.

-- Erez Crossing was open for internationals and for a
limited number of Palestinian merchants December 6-7. A
reported 102 merchants crossed into Israel December 6, and 67
crossed into Israel December 7. UNRWA reported that 180
agricultural laborers (married and over age 30) entered
Israel December 7.

-- The Erez Industrial Zone remained closed December 6-7,
although 70 factory owners were allowed entry to the zone to
inspect their property December 6, and 69 were allowed entry
December 7.

-- Sufa Crossing was closed for Palestinian laborers December
7, but was open for the import of aggregates used in
construction.

-- Karni Terminal was open but reportedly operating slowly.

-- Rafah Terminal was open for arrivals and departures
December 7. Although the IDF no longer prohibits the exit of
male Palestinians age 16-35 from the Gaza Strip lengthy
checks at the border mean that few Palestinians in this
category are actually able to exit. There are no age
restrictions for entry into Gaza.

-- Tel al-Sultan checkpoint was closed December 7. Toufah
checkpoint was open for residents of al-Mowassi.


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KURTZER

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