Cablegate: Wb/G Sitrep: Targeted Killings, Rocket Attacks
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 003019
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: TARGETED KILLINGS, ROCKET ATTACKS
MARK UPSURGE IN VIOLENCE IN WEST BANK AND GAZA STRIP: JULY
15, 2005 (1800 HOURS LOCAL)
1. (SBU) Summary: In the West Bank, Israeli helicopters on
July 15 fired missiles at a vehicle traveling near Salfit,
killing at least two Hamas activists. Meanwhile, in the Gaza
Strip, Hamas and PA security forces have engaged in street
battles July 14-15, resulting in the deaths of at least two
Palestinians and as many as 40 injuries, including several in
critical condition. Israeli media reported that an IAF
attack killed up to four Hamas activists in central Gaza.
Since the evening of July 14, Palestinian militants have
fired over 70 rockets and mortars at Israeli targets in the
Gaza Strip and inside Israel. A Qassam rocket killed one
Israeli civilian and injured another the evening of July 14.
In a separate incident, four Qassam rockets near Nahal Oz
injured three IDF soldiers. In Gaza City, a large explosion,
reportedly detonated in the vicinity of PA President Mahmud
Abbas's residence. End summary.
2. (SBU) ATTACKS:
-- Deaths: Israeli helicopters on July 15 fired missiles at a
vehicle carrying Hamas members, killing at least two, near
the West Bank town of Salfit.
-- Injury: According to Israeli sources, IDF soldiers
operating in Tulkarm on July 14 shot and wounded a
Palestinian holding a Molotov cocktail.
-- Clashes/Injuries: According to Palestinian sources, at
least 10 protesters, including Palestinians, left-wing
Israelis, and international activists sustained injuries from
stun grenades and tear gas inhalation during clashes with the
IDF. The demonstrators were protesting the construction of
the separation barrier near the West Bank settlement of
3. (SBU) ARRESTS/SECURITY:
-- Arrests: Nil.
-- Settler violence: Israeli settlers on July 14 reportedly
uprooted and torched olive trees near Qalqilya.
4. (SBU) ATTACKS:
-- Deaths/Injuries: According to the IDF, one Israeli
civilian was killed and one injured on July 14 when two
Qassams landed on Nativ Ha'asara. Three IDF soldiers were
lightly wounded when four Qassams landed near Nahal Oz.
-- Deaths/Injuries: UNRWA reported 21 PA security forces
injured, 14 others injured, and two killed in clashes between
Palestinian security services and Hamas militants (see
"shootings" below). Israeli radio reported 18 injuries and
two deaths from the violence. The Palestinian Center for
human Rights reported 43 injuries (23 PA, 14 Hamas and 6
civilian) -- three critical -- and three deaths.
-- Deaths: The Israeli press is reporting that IDF
helicopters targeted and killed four Hamas activists in the
Tel Ahawa area of the central Gaza strip.
-- Injuries: UNRWA reported eight Palestinians were injured
in attacks by IDF helicopters (see "air-to-ground missiles"
-- Rockets: The IDF reported thirteen rocket attacks on July
14. In addition to the attacks reported above under
deaths/injuries, one Qassam was launched at IDF personnel
near Sderot, one at civilians in Netzarim, three at civilians
near Nissanit, and two at the Erez crossing.
-- Rockets: The IDF reported three rocket attacks in the
early morning hours of July 15: one targeting an IDF outpost
east of Rafiah Yam and two targeting civilians north of Nahal
Oz. There were no known injuries in these attacks.
-- Rockets: UNRWA reported 55 rockets fired overnight: one at
Ganei Tal, 19 at Neve Dekalim, one at Tel Katif, one near the
eastern border of the middle of the Gaza strip, eight at
Netzarim, six Qassams at Israeli villages north to the north
and east of the Gaza Strip, seven rockets at Sderot, three
towards the eastern Green Line, three at Nissanit, four at
Dugit, and two at unidentified targets in the north. Embassy
note: many of these are covered in the IDF reports above.
The disparity in numbers is due to the fact that the IDF and
UN have different reporting periods. In addition, the UN
often includes what the IDF deems to be mortar attacks as
-- Anti-tank Missile: The IDF reported one antitank missile
fired on July 15 at an IDF outpost west of Khan Yunis. There
were no injuries. UNRWA said the attack took place on Neve
-- Air-to-ground Missiles: UNRWA reported that overnight IDF
helicopters fired a total of eight missiles in Gaza: two at
the cemetery in Khan Yunis, two missiles at the Al-Rahma
Center (Hamas community center), one at a car in the Birka
area, one at a workshop in Deir al-Balah, two at the Al Sahwa
Center (Hamas community center). The helicopters reportedly
also strafed an area north of al-Attra (Khan Yunis).
-- Mortars: The IDF reported two mortar attacks targeting
Israeli civilians on July 14, one at Aley Sinai and one at
Netzarim. UNRWA confirmed the Netzarim attack. There were
-- Mortars: The IDF reported six mortar attacks on June 15,
one targeting Israeli civilians in Gadid, and five targeting
IDF soldiers. The attacks against the IDF occurred northeast
of Nissanit, seven kilometers northeast of the Kissufim
crossing, northwest of Khan Yunis, 50 meters south of
Netzarim, and south of Netzer Hazani. There were no
-- Mortars: UNRWA reported seven mortar shells fired at Morag.
-- Explosive Device: The IDF dismantled one explosive device
found on July 14 approximately one kilometer south of Sofa.
There were no injuries.
-- Explosion: The UN reported that at 1600 a vehicle exploded
in Gaza city just off Beirut Street on the road to the
Preventive Security building, located 600 meters from
President Abbas's house. killing four passengers. The
explosion reportedly knocked out power in part of Gaza City.
-- Shootings: UNRWA reported that a major clash between Hamas
and PA forces began at approximately 1830 on July 14 and
continues at this point. According to UN accounts, PA
security personnel confronted Hamas militants after they had
fired two Qassams at the northern settlement block. In an
ensuing gun battle near Shaykh Zayid city, five militants
were injured, one critically. Later on July 14 two vehicles
belonging to PA security forces were reportedly burned near
the Bayt Lahia junction. Violence erupted again when PA
forces reportedly fired in central Gaza city to prevent a
Hamas spokesman from holding an interview with al-Jazeera.
PA forces reportedly deployed at Shifa hospital to intercept
any Hamas militants wounded in the fight. The UN reported
that PA forces moved APCs into Hamas areas on the morning of
July 15, sparking clashes near the UNRWA building. UNRWA
reported that an APC was destroyed and police took cover in
an UNRWA school, where they fired at crowds who attacked them
with two explosive devices. Casualty figures are reported
above in "deaths/injuries." Israeli radio reported a riot at
the Shifa hospital and an attack by Hamas that destroyed a PA
police station and four vehicles.
-- Shooting: The IDF reported shooting at IDF soldiers on
July 14 north of the Karni crossing. There were no injuries.
-- Shooting: The IDF reported shooting on July 15 targeting
an IDF outpost northwest of Khan Yunis. There were no
injuries. UNRWA reported that the attack was on Neve Dekalim.
-- Shooting: UNRWA reported that IDF troops in Rafah fired
into the Zarub area. There were no injuries.
5. (SBU) ARRESTS:
-- Arrests: UNRWA reported that three Palestinians were
arrested by IDF troops while trying to enter Israel north of
6. (SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS/INTERNAL CHECKPOINTS:
-- No Palestinians except those holding Jerusalem ID cards
are currently allowed to use the Erez crossing.
-- Israeli radio reported that the IDF has closed roads and
checkpoints to trisect the Gaza Strip.
-- The Erez Industrial Zone was closed.
-- Sufa Crossing was closed for Palestinian laborers.
-- Karni Terminal was open on July 14. No information is
available on July 15.
-- Rafah Terminal was open on July 14 in both directions
without age restrictions. No information is available for
-- No information on Route Four (Salahadeen Road) is
-- Kissufim Junction, the main entry point to Gush Katif
settlement bloc, was closed to non-residents July 14.
-- No information on the Toufah checkpoint is available.
-- The Abu Houli internal crossing and the Coastal Road area
are reported closed.
7. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:
-- Mortar/rocket and shooting attacks continue. The UN
reported additional rockets fired throughout the day into
settlement blocks and into Israel, resulting in a number of
injuries (details as they become known in the next sitrep).
-- UN staff were advised not to move due to fighting in the
streets, but were allowed to move to Erez during midday
prayers on July 15.
-- The UN reported that some mosques were calling for Hamas
to take over the streets following midday prayers.
-- The UN reported that Hamas stated that rocket attacks are
in retaliation for the IDF's entry into Tulkarm in the West
-- The IDF is maintaining a general closure of the Gaza Strip.