Search

 

Cablegate: Wb/G Sitrep: Mortar, Rocket Fire Continue in Gaza;

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 TEL AVIV 004418

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; NEA/SA/EX FOR RICHIE; DEPT FOR
DS/IP/ITA; DEPT FOR DS/IP/NEA; NSC FOR ABRAMS/MUSTAFA;
USAID FOR DCHA, DCHA/FPP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWBG PHUM PREL PTER ASEC CASC GZ IS
SUBJECT: WB/G SITREP: MORTAR, ROCKET FIRE CONTINUE IN GAZA;
IDF SNIPER KILLS HAMAS COMMANDER IN KHAN YUNIS; IDF DETAINS
ABOUT 30 IN WEST BANK -- JULY 18, 2005 (1600 HOURS LOCAL)

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

1. (SBU) Summary: Intense mortar and Qassam fire from Gaza
continued through the weekend of July 16-17, easing up
somewhat on July 18. On July 17, the IDF killed the Hamas
military commander in Khan Yunis in a targeted killing and
also killed, in a separate incident, a PIJ militant who was
preparing to fire a mortar shell into Netzarim. At least
eight Israeli civilians were wounded, most lightly, by mortar
fire at Gaza settlements. Hamas gunmen shot and wounded on
July 16 the head of the PA National Security Force unit that
shot at a car carrying Hamas militants last week. In the
West Bank, IDF forces detained seven suspected PIJ militants
in Ramallah on July 18, but subsequently released four of
them. Over the weekend of July 16-17 the IDF also detained
another two dozen or so militants from various factions
throughout the West Bank. End Summary.

----
Gaza
----

(SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Deaths: In a targeted attack, IDF sniper fire killed the
reputed commander of the Hamas military wing in Khan Yunis,
Said Siam, on the morning of July 17 at about 1000.

-- Deaths: At about 1240 on July 17 near Netzarim, IDF
soldiers killed a reputed PIJ member who was reportedly
preparing to fire a mortar shell at the settlement.

-- Injuries/mortars: A prominent settler activist, Yigal
Kirschenzpat, and a guest in his home were seriously wounded
by a mortar shell in Neve Dekalim at 1410 on July 17.

-- Injuries/mortars: Two Israeli children were lightly
injured by a mortar shell that landed in Neve Dekalim at 1540
on July 17.

-- Injuries/mortars: An Israeli civilian was lightly injured
by a mortar shell that landed in Neve Dekalim at 1150 on July
17.

-- Injuries/mortars: An Israeli civilian was lightly injured
by a mortar shell that landed in Nisanit settlement on July
16 at 1940.

-- Injuries/mortars: Two Israeli civilians were lightly
injured by a mortar shell that landed in Neve Dekalim at 1610
on July 15.

-- Injuries/shootings: UNRWA reported that Hamas gunmen shot
a PA National Security Force commander, Ra'ed Abu Haloub, in
Jabalia on July 16 at 2000. The victim was reportedly
recovering from wounds to his abdomen and legs at an Israeli
hospital. Abu Haloub led the NSF unit that confronted, and
shot at, a car carrying Hamas militants on July 14.

-- Injuries/shootings: UNRWA reported that IDF soldiers at
the Abu Houli/Gush Katif checkpoint fired machine guns and
tear gas at Palestinians who tried to cross the closed
checkpoint on July 16 at 1545. Four Palestinians were
wounded by the gunfire.

-- Injuries/air-launched missiles: Two Palestinians received
shrapnel wounds as a result of IAF strikes on workshops in
Gaza City early in the morning of July 16, according to
UNRWA. Another was wounded by shrapnel when an IAF
helicopter fired missiles at a metal workshop west of Al
Qarara at around the same time. Three others received
shrapnel wounds when an IAF aircraft fired at a Hamas mortar
crew in Khan Yunis during the evening of July 15. (See
"Air-Launched Missile Strikes.)

-- Mortars: The IDF reported 22 mortar attacks during the
24-hour period ending at 0600 on July 18. Of the 35 shells
fired, seven landed in Israel (Sderot, Nativ Hasara, and six
kms northeast of Kissufim Crossing). The rest landed in or
near Gaza settlements. The IDF reported 60 mortar attacks
during the 48-hour period ending at 0600 on July 17.
Approximately 20 of the 98 shells the IDF counted landed in
Israel.

-- Rockets: The IDF reported two Qassam rockets fired at
Sderot at 0620 on July 17. It reported an additional 18
Qassams fired into Israel in seven barrages during the
preceding 48 hours.
-- Anti-tank missiles: The IDF reported 12 incidents (15
missiles) of anti-tank missiles fired at Israeli targets in
Gaza during the 72-hour period ending at 0600 on July 18.

-- Shootings: The IDF and militants exchanged gunfire near
Neve Dekalim on July 16 at 1830. No injuries were reported.

-- Explosions: In an apparent work accident, a bomb exploded
inside a home in Nuseirat camp on July 17 at 0215, according
to UNRWA. No injuries were reported, although the house was
damaged.

(SBU) ARRESTS: Nil.

(SBU) INCURSIONS/DEMOLITIONS:

-- UNRWA reported that an undercover IDF unit encountered PA
national security force members in a Bedouin village north of
Beit Lahiya on July 17 at 0030. An exchange of fire ensued,
with no injuries reported. The PA forces withdrew.

-- UNRWA reported that four IDF armored vehicles and three
jeeps crossed the Green Line east of Gaza City and entered
about 300 meters into a neighborhood east of Sheja'ya on July
16 at 0430. Troops searched homes in the area before
withdrawing at 0700.

(SBU) AIR-LAUNCHED MISSILE STRIKES:

-- UNRWA reported that an IAF aircraft fired two missiles at
on open area near Sheikh Zayad city at noon on July 17. The
strike apparently targeted Palestinians firing mortar shells.
No injuries were reported.

-- UNRWA reported that an IDF drone fired a missile at
Palestinians attempting to fire Qassam rockets into Israel
from Beit Hanoun on July 16 at 2050. No injuries were
reported.

-- UNRWA reported that IAF helicopters fired missiles July 16
at 0030 at two targets in Gaza City: a metal workshop in the
city's Daraj quarter, and a motorcycle repair shop in Beach
Camp. Two Palestinian passers-by received shrapnel wounds.

-- UNRWA reported that an IAF aircraft fired two missiles at
a group from Hamas that was attempting to fire mortar shells
at Gush Katif from Khan Yunis on July 15 at 1935. Three
persons reported received shrapnel wounds.

(SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS:

-- No information was available about Route Four (Salahadeen
Road), the main north-south traffic artery.

-- Erez Crossing was closed except for internationals.

-- The Erez Industrial Zone was closed.

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

-- Karni Terminal was partially open.

-- Rafah Terminal was open, although Israeli authorities
refused to allow Palestinians between the ages of 16 and 35
to cross into Egypt on Saturday. It was unclear whether this
restriction was back in place on Monday.

-- The Abu Houli internal crossing and the Coastal Road were
reportedly closed by the IDF.

(SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:

-- Israeli police used roadblocks in Israel and the West Bank
to prevent buses of anti-disengagement protesters from
traveling towards Netivot, in the Negev, from where
protesters were to try to march into Gaza. The government
had earlier rejected a permit for the march.

-- PM Sharon told the Israeli Cabinet Sunday that "no
restrictions" had been placed on IDF action against attacks
from Gaza. DefMin Mofaz said that he wanted to give the PA
another chance to respond to the Qassam and mortar attacks.
IDF armored units and infantry troops remained in place on
the outskirts of Gaza.

-- Hundreds of anti-disengagement demonstrators clashed with
police and IDF soldiers on the Israeli side of the Kissufim
crossing on the evening of July 16. The demonstrators were
trying to break through into Gaza. Five protesters, one
policeman and one soldier were lightly injured.

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

(SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Deaths: Nil.

-- Shooting: Palestinians on July 18 fired gunshots at an IDF
outpost south of Nablus. There were no reported injuries
from this incident.

-- Shooting: Palestinians on July 17 fired gunshots at an IDF
jeep traveling in the Im Sharayet neighborhood of Ramallah.
There were no reported injuries from this incident.

-- Firebombing: Palestinians on July 17 threw two firebombs
at an IDF jeep operating in Tulkarm. There were no reported
injuries from this incident.

(SBU) ARRESTS/SECURITY:

-- Arrests: According to Israeli sources, IDF soldiers on
July 18 entered Ramallah and arrested seven Palestinians
reportedly belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
During the arrest operation, Palestinians threw stones at the
IDF jeeps. The IDF responded by firing teargas. There were
no reported injuries from the incident. The IDF, which
withdrew its forces from Ramallah following the operation,
released four of the seven suspects at the entrance to the
city, and held the remaining three suspects for questioning.


-- Arrest: Israeli security personnel on July 18 arrested a
Palestinian who attempted to cross the Huwwara checkpoint
with 200 rounds of ammunition.

-- Arrests: IDF soldiers the evening of July 17 arrested a
total of six Hamas activists in several localities, including
Harmala village, south of Bethlehem, and in the Ramallah and
Hebron areas.

-- Arrests: IDF operations on July 17 in several West Bank
localities, including Nablus, Hebron, Tubas, and Tulkarm,
resulted in the arrest of 16 Palestinians associated with
Fatah, Hamas, and PIJ.

-- Arrests: IDF operations on July 16 resulted in the arrest
of 26 Palestinians in Hebron, Tulkarm, and other localities
in the West Bank.

-- Curfew lifted: The IDF on July 17 lifted the curfew
imposed on Tulkarm following the July 12 suicide bombing in
Netanya; however, the IDF has maintained security control
over the city. The Israeli DCO informed PA security forces
in Tulkarm that they are forbidden from carrying weapons or
wearing uniforms.

-- Security: The IDF on July 17 took over the house of a
senior PIJ member in Attil village, north of Tulkarm. The
PIJ leader is reportedly in the custody of the Palestinian
Authority in Ramallah; however, the IDF is demanding that the
PA turn him over to Israeli custody.

(SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:

-- Palestinian gunmen in Ramallah on July 16 attempted to
force local merchants to close their businesses in reaction
to the July 15 deaths of Palestinian militants killed during
Israeli operations in Salfit and the Gaza Strip. PA
policemen succeeded in bringing the situation under control.
There were no reported injuries from this incident.

-- The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) is scheduled to
hold a three-day session commencing July 19 to discuss
proposed amendments to the Palestinian Basic Law.

********************************************* ********************
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.
********************************************* ********************
CRETZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Assange's Hearing: Latest Observations From Court

Despite severe restrictions on observers, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is the only NGO that has gained access to the hearing, and we’ve managed to monitor proceedings on most days. We will continue to do so whenever possible. Yesterday I was in court ... More>>

Climate Change: Record Northern Heat, Fuels Concerns Over US Wildfire Destruction

More than 78,000 acres of forest in the Sierra mountains in California has been lost due to wildfires. Photo: San Francisco Fire Department The northern hemisphere experienced its warmest August ever, the World Meteorological Organization ( WMO ... More>>

ILO: Impact On Workers Of COVID-19 Is ‘catastrophic’

COVID-19 has had a “catastrophic” impact on workers, the head of the International Labour Organization ( ILO ) said on Wednesday, with lost working hours higher than originally forecast, and equivalent to 495 million full-time jobs globally in the ... More>>

UN: WHO Warns Against Potential Ebola Spread In DR Congo And Beyond

Ebola is spreading in a western province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), raising fears that the disease could reach neighbouring Republic of Congo and even the capital, Kinshasa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. ... More>>