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Cablegate: Wb/G Sitrep: Senior Pa Official Assaulted in West

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 JERUSALEM 002955

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: SENIOR PA OFFICIAL ASSAULTED IN WEST
BANK: JULY 12, 2005 (1900 HOURS LOCAL)


This is a joint Embassy/ConGen cable.

1. (SBU) Summary: A senior official from the Palestinian
Authority (PA) Ministry of the Interior (MOI) on July 12
sustained injuries from an attack by unknown assailants as he
traveled from Jerusalem to Ramallah. The MOI official was
later hospitalized, but is expected to recover from his
injuries. In Shove Shomron settlement, near Tulkarm, on July
12, a would-be suicide bomber detonated a car load of
explosives at the settlement's entrance gate, but only the
bomber was injured in the blast. Elsewhere in the West Bank,
the IDF on July 11 arrested three Palestinians during an
operation in Hebron. In the Gaza Strip, one Israeli citizen
was lightly injured when an IDF bulldozer and civilians were
attacked July 11 with small arms fire and two hand grenades
north of the Rafah crossing. Two IDF soldiers were lightly
wounded on July 12 when an explosive device detonated near
their jeep on patrol near Nezer Hazani. In addition, there
were reported incidents of rocket and mortar fire at Israeli
targets, but no reported injuries. End summary.

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

2. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Death: Nil.

-- Injury: Palestinian gunmen on July 12 assaulted the PA
Ministry of Interior Director General, Ibrahim Salama, as he
was traveling from Jerusalem to Ramallah. Salama sustained
injuries from the attack and was hospitalized following the
incident.

-- Attack: Palestinians on July 11 threw two Molotov
cocktails at an Israeli vehicle traveling near Homesh
settlement, north of Nablus. There were no reported injuries
from this incident.

-- Attack: Palestinians July 11 threw a pipe bomb at an IDF
jeep traveling near the Aidah refugee camp near Bethlehem.
There were no reported injuries from this incident.

-- Attack/Injury: In Shove Shomron settlement, near Tulkarm,
on July 12, a Palestinian would-be suicide bomber detonated a
car load of explosives at the settlement's entrance gate, but
only the bomber was injured in the blast, according to
Israeli radio.

-- Shooting: Unknown assailants on July 11 fired gunshots at
the home of the local Fatah leader in Hizma village, north of
Jerusalem. There were no injuries reported from this
incident.

3. (SBU) ARRESTS/SECURITY:

-- Arrests: The IDF on July 11 entered Hebron and arrested
three Palestinians, according to Palestinian sources.

-- Curfew: The IDF continued on July 12 to impose a curfew on
al-Mughayyir village, northeast of Ramallah, following an
attack on an IDF vehicle that resulted in injuries to one
Israeli soldier, according to Palestinian security sources.

4. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:

-- According to Palestinian media reports, Fatah Central
Committee head Faruq al-Qaddumi said that legislative council
elections would be held on January 20, 2006. In addition,
the Fatah General Congress was rescheduled for March 21, 2006.

----
Gaza
----

5. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Deaths: Nil.

-- Injuries/Shootings: According to the IDF, one Israeli
citizen was lightly injured when an IDF bulldozer and
civilians were attacked July 11 with small arms fire and two
hand grenades north of the Rafah crossing. UNRWA reported
that the attack involved an RPG (instead of hand grenades)
and that the IDF returned fire into the Al Shouka area.

-- Injuries/Explosive Devices: IDF radio reported that two
soldiers were lightly wounded on July 12 when an explosive
device detonated near their jeep on patrol near Nezer Hazani.
UNRWA reported that the explosion was caused by an RPG and
that the IDF closed the Gush Qatif checkpoint separating
northern and southern Gaza in response.

-- Injuries/Explosive Devices: The Voice of Palestine
reported July 12 that a Palestinian in Rafah was injured
while preparing an explosive device in his house.

-- Shootings: In addition to the shooting listed under
"injuries," the IDF reported three other shooting incidents:
shots fired on July 11 at an IDF outpost located one
kilometer east of Netzarim; shots fired at an IDF APC located
1.5 kilometers south of the Sufa crossing; and shots fired at
an IDF outpost south of Rafah. UNRWA reported that the IDF
responded to the latter attack with fire into the Al Barahma
area and Block J. There were no reported injuries in these
three incidents.

-- Explosive Devices: The IDF said that Palestinian police
located and disarmed an explosive device located
approximately three kilometers southeast of the Sufa crossing.

-- Mortars: The IDF reported that on July 11, mortar shells
were fired at civilians and IDF forces in two locations. One
shell was launched at an IDF outpost located 50 meters from
Netzarim (confirmed by UNRWA), while four shells were
launched in the vicinity of Neve Dekalim. UNRWA said the
latter attack consisted of three rounds, adding that the Abu
Rish Brigades claimed responsibility. No injuries were
reported in either incident.

-- Explosion: UNRWA reported that the IDF had identified and
detonated an explosive device on July 11 near Nezanit.

-- Rockets: According to UNRWA, Palestinians fired two
homemade rockets at IDF troops on July 11 near the Sofa
crossing. The military wing of Fatah reportedly claimed
responsibility.

-- Rockets: UNRWA reported that Palestinians fired three
homemade rockets on July 11 at Neve Dekalim.

-- Protest: UNRWA reported that 200 disabled Palestinians
protested on July 12 in front of the PLC building in Gaza
City. The demonstrators allegedly damaged two PA automobiles
on the compound before PA police arrived to calm the
situation.

6. (SBU) ARRESTS:

-- Arrest: UNRWA reported that a 19-year-old unarmed
Palestinian was arrested on July 11 near Khan Yunis while
trying to infiltrate into Israel.

7. (SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS/INTERNAL CHECKPOINTS:

-- Erez Crossing was open on July 12; 4,208 laborers and 571
merchants crossed into Israel.

-- The Erez Industrial Zone was on July 12 and 561 laborers
entered the zone.

-- Sufa Crossing was closed for Palestinian laborers on July
12, but was open for construction materials.

-- Karni Terminal was partially open on July 12.

-- Rafah Terminal was open on July 12 in both directions
without age restrictions.

-- Route Four (Salahadeen Road), the main north-south traffic
artery, was open on July 12 with the exception of the closure
noted below, with a major detour at Netzarim Junction.

-- The Gush Qatif checkpoint was open July 12 after the
closure reported above in "injuries/explosions."

-- Toufah checkpoint was open, except to males aged 16-30.

8. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:

-- Israeli radio reported that the GOI's political and
security cabinet would meet on July 12 to discuss the
deployment of Egyptian border police along the Philadelphi
Strip, the issue of crossing points, and the question of when
Gaza would be sealed-off in preparation for disengagement.

-- Israeli press noted that on July 12 that a number of
members of the Knesset, including the Chairman of the
Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, filed an
appeal against the Attorney General's decision that the
Knesset need not approve the deployment of Egyptian border
guards along the Philadelphi Strip.

-- Several Israeli papers reported July 12 that a GOI team
had traveled to Washington to request USD 2.2 billion in
assistance to cover military costs of disengagement and to
develop the Negev and Galilee regions within Israel.
PEARCE

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