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Cablegate: Wb/G Sitrep: Idf Raids Wb Qassam Rocket Workshop;

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 001276

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

NEA FOR BURNS/SATTERFIELD/DIBBLE;
NEA/SA/EX FOR RICHIE; DEPT FOR DS/IP/ITA; DEPT FOR
DS/IP/NEA;
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: IDF RAIDS WB QASSAM ROCKET WORKSHOP;
NO INJURIES REPORTED FROM THREE WEST BANK EXPLOSIONS --
MARCH 3, 2005 (1200 HOURS LOCAL)


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

1. (SBU) Summary: A car bomb exploded without causing
injuries March 3 near IDF
soldiers patrolling in the vicinity of Joseph,s Tomb in
Nablus. Jewish worshippers were near the area at the time of
the explosion. In addition, two explosive
devices detonated without causing injury near IDF soldiers
operating in the Balata refugee camp, near Nablus. The IDF
on March 2 raided a metal works shop in the village of
al-Yamun, near Jenin, where soldiers discovered a Qassam
rocket under construction. The IDF also confiscated
explosive devices and ammunition. According to Israeli press
reports, the IDF in late January had arrested 14 members of
Hamas in the West Bank on suspicion of planning to launch
Qassam rockets into Israel. In Gaza, IDF tank fire injured a
13-year-old Palestinian boy in Rafah March 2. End Summary.

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

2. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Deaths: A Palestinian teenager died March 2 from wounds
received during clashes with IDF 18 months ago in Jenin.

-- Injuries: Two Israeli settlers on March 2 sustained light
injuries after Palestinians threw two firebombs at their
vehicle traveling near the Ofra settlement, north of Ramallah.

-- Injury: A Palestinian reported March 2 that he had been
shot by Israeli settlers traveling in a passing vehicle in
the vicinity of Ramin, east of Tulkarm.

-- Attacks: A car bomb exploded March 3 near IDF soldiers
patrolling in the vicinity of Joseph,s Tomb in Nablus.
Jewish worshippers were near the area at the time of the
explosion. In addition, two explosive devices detonated near
IDF soldiers operating in the Balata refugee camp, near
Nablus. None of the explosions resulted in injuries.
3. (SBU) ARRESTS/SECURITY:

-- Arrests: The IDF overnight March 2-3 arrested five
Palestinians, including four Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
activists in the Nablus, Qalqiliya, and Tulkarm areas.

-- Arrest: The IDF the evening of March 2 arrested a Fatah
Tanzim activist during an operation south of Nablus.

-- Security Incident: The IDF on March 2 raided a metal
works shop in the village of al-Yamun, near Jenin, where
soldiers discovered a Qassam rocket under construction. The
IDF also confiscated explosive devices and ammunition.
According to Israeli press reports, the IDF in late January
had arrested 14 members of Hamas in the West Bank on
suspicion of planning to launch Qassam rockets into Israel.

-- Incursion: The IDF on March 3 entered the eastern sector
of Jenin. As of 1200 hours, there were no reports of
arrests or injuries from this operation.

4. (SBU) DEMOLITIONS/CONFISCATIONS

-- Palestinian media reported that the Israeli Civil
Administration distributed confiscation orders for up to
10,000 dunams of Palestinian land belonging to Palestinians
south and west of Hebron in order to construct the separation
barrier. According to Abd al-Hadi Hantash, head of the
Palestinian land defense committee in the Hebron area,
confiscation orders include 3,000 dunams from Dhahirirya
villagers for barrier construction in the area of Eshkolot
settlement, 1,500 dunams from Ar-Ramadin and Arab
al-Fureijat villagers for barrier construction around Sansana
settlement, 5,000 dunams from As Samu, villagers for barrier
construction by Mezadot Yehuda and Shani settlements. (Note:
Posts will investigate to verify the details of this report.
End Note).

5. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:

-- According to Palestinian press reports, the PA Governor
of Jenin denied that PA Interior Minister Nasir Yusif had
fired him. An official from the Interior Ministry
confirmed that the Jenin Governor had not been replaced,
but stated that 11 security chiefs and deputies had been
removed from their positions during Yusif,s March 1 visit
to the city.

-- PA President Abbas is planning to meet with
representatives from PIJ upon his return to the West Bank.
Abbas is scheduled to meet March 3 with Egyptian President
Mubarak in Cairo.

-- PA Minister for Civil Affairs Dahlan met March 2 with
Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Peres. A statement released
by the Civil Affairs Ministry indicated that Dahlan had
submitted a number of requests to Peres, including a
request for an increase in the number of Palestinian
laborers allowed to enter Israel. Other Palestinian media
reports stated that Dahlan and Peres discussed the
mechanisms of coordination for the Gaza Disengagement Plan.

----
Gaza
----

6. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Deaths: Nil.

-- Injuries: UNRWA reported that IDF tank fire injured a
13-year-old Palestinian boy in Rafah, across from Rafiah
Yam settlement, March 2, when he and a group of boys
entered a leveled area to play football.

-- Mortars/Rockets: Nil.

-- Shootings: Nil.

-- Explosions: Nil.

7. (SBU) PALESTINIAN SECURITY:

-- UNRWA reported that a dispute between Force 17 officers
turned violent in Gaza City March 2. According to reports,
a newly-dismissed officer refused to relinquish his command
in the Ansar area to his successor. Bodyguards loyal to
each officer clashed for about an hour firing small arms,
until APCs moved into the area and the situation was
brought under control. No injuries were reported.

8. (SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS:

-- Route Four (Salahadeen Road), the main north-south
traffic artery, was open March 3, with a major detour at
Netzarim Junction. Only public transportation is allowed
to cross Abu Khouli checkpoint.

-- Erez Crossing was open for internationals and for a
limited number of Palestinians March 2, and 1,030 laborers
and 128 merchants crossed into Israel.

-- The Erez Industrial Zone was open March 2, and 332
laborers entered.

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

-- Karni Terminal was partially open March 3.

-- Rafah Terminal was open for arrivals and departures
March 3.

-- Tel al-Sultan checkpoint was closed March 3. Toufah
checkpoint was open for residents of al-Mowassi, except for
males between the ages of 16-35.

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