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Cablegate: Wb/G Sitrep: Hamas Militant Succumbs to Wounds

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 JERUSALEM 002051

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; NEA/SA/EX FOR AUSTIN-FERGUSON; DEPT
FOR DS/IP/ITA; DEPT FOR DS/IP/NEA; NSC FOR ABRAMS/DANIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PBTS PHUM KWBG CASC IS
SUBJECT: WB/G SITREP: HAMAS MILITANT SUCCUMBS TO WOUNDS
FROM ISRAELI MISSILE STRIKE; 60 MORTARS FIRED AT ISRAELI
TARGETS: MAY 19, 2005 (1600 HOURS LOCAL)

This is a joint Embassy/ConGen cable.

1. (SBU) Summary: In the Gaza Strip, a Hamas militant on
May 18 died from wounds received from an Israeli missile
strike earlier that day. The IDF and UNRWA reported that
Palestinian militants fired a total of 45 mortar shells and
homemade rockets overnight May 18-19 at Israeli targets
throughout the Gaza Strip, and approximately another 15
during the day May 19. Three Qassam rockets were also fired
at Israeli targets, one of which landed in the western Negev,
but no injuries were reported. In the West Bank, at least
five Palestinians were arrested in operations in various
localities. End summary.

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

2. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Death: Nil.

-- Injury: Nil.

-- Shooting: Gunmen on May 18 fired shots at Qaddim
settlement, southeast of Jenin. There were no reported
injuries from this incident.

-- Shooting: Palestinian gunmen on May 18 opened fire on a
group of Israelis at the southern entrance of Nablus. The
Israelis were attempting to visit Joseph's Tomb when they
encountered gunfire. There were no reported injuries from
this incident.

3. (SBU) ARRESTS/SECURITY:

-- Arrest: The IDF on May 18 arrested a Fatah Tanzim member
from Arraba village, southwest of Jenin. A second Fatah
Tanzim member was arrested in the vicinity of Nablus.

-- Arrest: The IDF on May 18 arrested at least two
Palestinians during operations in Bethlehem and Dar Salah
village, southeast of Jerusalem.

-- Arrest: The IDF on May 18 arrested a Palestinian taxi
driver in Hebron.

4. (SBU) DEMOLITIONS:

-- The IDF on May 18 demolished a Palestinian home in Bir
Nabala, south of Ramallah, for lack of proper building
permit.

5. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:

-- The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) on May 18
approved the third reading of a new elections law that would
enlarge the PLC from 88 to 132 seats, a third of whom would
be elected on national lists and two-thirds in district
races. The PLC rejected a proposal supported by President
Abbas to create a 100 percent proportional system for the
legislative body. The law now awaits ratification by the PA
President.

----
Gaza
----

6. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Death: UNRWA reported that the Hamas militant wounded in
an Israeli missile strike on militants operating near Khan
Yunis May 18, died of his injuries later the same day.

-- Injuries: UNRWA and Palestinian sources reported that
three PA policemen were wounded May 18 when they attempted to
apprehend a group of militants firing mortars from Khan Yunis
into Gush Katif.

-- Catch-up item: Injury: Israeli media reported that one
Israeli was lightly injured May 18 in Neve Dekalim during the
first mortar barrage on Gush Katif at midday.

-- Mortars/Rockets: The IDF and UNRWA reported that
Palestinian militants, including Hamas, fired a total of 45
mortar shells and homemade rockets overnight May 18-19 at
Israeli settlements and IDF outposts throughout the Gaza
Strip, and approximately another 15 during the day May 19.
An additional three Qassam rockets were fired at Israeli
targets, one of which landed in the western Negev. No
injuries were reported.

-- Shootings: UNRWA and Israeli media reported numerous
instances of exchanges of fire as IDF soldiers responded to
mortar and shooting attacks overnight May 18-19.

7. (SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS:

-- Route Four (Salahadeen Road), the main north-south traffic
artery, was open May 19, with a major detour at Netzarim
Junction.

-- Erez Crossing was open for Palestinians May 18, and a
total of 4,228 laborers and 260 merchants crossed into
Israel. Erez was closed May 19.

-- The Erez Industrial Zone was open May 18 and 613 laborers
entered the zone. Erez was closed May 19.

-- Sufa Crossing was closed for Palestinian laborers May 19,
but was open for the import of aggregates used in
construction.

-- Karni Terminal was open May 19.

-- Rafah Terminal was open for arrivals and departures May
19.

-- Tel al-Sultan checkpoint was closed May 19. Toufah
checkpoint was open for residents of al-Mowassi, except males
aged 16-30.

8. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:

-- Israeli media and IDF sources reported that senior Israeli
MOD officials told PA officials that Israel will resume
offensive operations in Gaza if the PA does not take decisive
action to halt the shelling of Gush Katif. Palestinian
sources say that PA minister of Interior Nasser Yusif has
ordered security forces in Gaza to use deadly force against
militants attempting to fire rockets.
Pearce

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