Cablegate: Wb/G Sitrep: Pa-Hamas Clash in Gaza City Follows
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 004523
NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; NEA/SA/EX FOR RICHIE; DEPT FOR
DS/IP/ITA; DEPT FOR DS/IP/NEA; NSC FOR ABRAMS/DANIN; USAID
FOR DCHA, DCHA/FPP
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWBG PHUM PREL PTER ASEC CASC GZ IS
SUBJECT: WB/G SITREP: PA-HAMAS CLASH IN GAZA CITY FOLLOWS
TRUCE ANNOUNCEMENT. JULY 20, 2005 (1300 HOURS LOCAL)
This is a joint ConGen Jerusalem/Embassy Tel Aviv cable.
1. (SBU) Summary: Despite an 0100 July 20 announcement from
Fatah and Hamas that they had agreed to end clashes between
their forces, Hamas gunmen exchanged fire with PSO forces in
Gaza City at about 0200 on July 20. Four Hamas men and one
PSO officer were reported injured. Mortar, rocket and
missile attacks against Israeli targets in Gaza were down
from levels of the past few days; no launches against targets
within Israel were reported by the IDF. In the West Bank,
settlers reportedly assaulted a Palestinian woman near Hebron
on July 19. Four Palestinians were injured near Hebron as a
result of clashes with the IDF over construction of the
security barrier. End summary.
2. (SBU) ATTACKS:
-- Deaths: Nil.
-- Injuries/Shootings: Four Hamas militants and one
Preventive Security (PSO) officer were wounded in a south
Gaza City shootout at around 0200 on July 20, according to
UNRWA and Palestinian sources. Sources reported that PSO
forces opened fire on the Hamas gunmen when they refused to
stop their vehicle at a PA checkpoint. The militants,
according to Israeli media reports, subsequently opened fire
on the home of senior Fatah official Abdullah Efranji and on
a police command center.
-- Mortars: The IDF reported five mortar barrages (12 shells)
against Gaza settlements and IDF outposts during the 24-hour
period ending at 0600 on July 20. No injuries were reported.
-- Missiles: The IDF reported three barrages of anti-tank
missiles (four missiles) against IDF outposts near Khan Yunis
and near Neve Dekalim between 0600 and 0800 on July 19.
-- Shootings: The IDF reported four incidents of gunfire
against IDF soldiers on July 19. One incident took place at
1015 against an IDF outpost at Netzarim. The second took
place at 1340 against an IDF outpost west of Neve Dekalim.
The third took place against soldiers about three kms SW of
Sufa crossing at 2035. The fourth incident took place at
2305 against an IDF outpost north of Khan Yunis.
-- Shootings: Palestinian sources reported continuing clashes
between Hamas and PA security forces in Gaza City during the
first half of the day on July 20. UNRWA could not confirm
-- Explosives: The IDF dismantled an explosive device near
Neve Dekalim at 1340 on July 19.
3. (SBU) ARRESTS: Nil.
4. (SBU) INCURSIONS/DEMOLITIONS: Nil.
5. (SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS:
-- Route Four (Salahadeen Road), the main north-south traffic
artery, was open.
-- Erez Crossing was closed to Palestinians except those
holding Jerusalem IDs. It was open for international
-- 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 in both directions for all
Palestinians except men between the ages of 16 and 35, who
were barred from crossing into Egypt.
-- Toufah checkpoint was open in both directions for all
Palestinians except males aged 16-30.
(SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS: At a Gaza City news conference
at about 0100 on July 20, Hamas and Fatah representatives
announced that they had agreed to end clashes between their
forces. A Hamas official said that Hamas armed forces would
withdraw from the streets of northern Gaza. Note: The clash
between Hamas and PSO forces described above in
"Injuries/Shootings" took place about an hour after the news
6. (SBU) ATTACKS:
-- Deaths: Nil.
-- Injury: According to Palestinian sources, Israeli settlers
on July 19 assaulted and injured a Palestinian woman near
Suseya settlement, south of Hebron.
-- Injuries: IDF soldiers operating in Dura village, west of
Hebron, on July 19 clashed with Palestinians stone throwers.
During the clashes, four Palestinians were injured as a
result of teargas inhalation and rubber bullets.
7. (SBU) ARRESTS/SECURITY:
-- Arrests: IDF soldiers operating in the early morning hours
of July 20 in al-Yamun village, west of Jenin, arrested seven
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) activists. The IDF withdrew
from the village following the arrest operation.
-- Demonstration/Arrests: The IDF and Israeli Border Police
arrested five Palestinians during demonstrations against the
construction of the separation barrier in Bil,in village,
west of Ramallah.
-- Arrest/Release: IDF soldiers on July 19 entered Bethlehem
and arrested one Palestinian in Manger Square. Palestinian
youths clashed with IDF soldiers during the operation, but
there were no reported injuries. The IDF on July 20 released
the Palestinian from custody.
-- Incursion/Arrests: IDF soldiers the evening of July 19
entered Qalqilya and arrested three Hamas activists.
-- Security: IDF sappers on July 20 blew up a vehicle parked
close to the separation barrier in al-Ram village, north of
Jerusalem. A subsequent investigation indicated that no
explosives were contained in the vehicle.
-- Security: The Palestinian Authority DCO in Ramallah on
July 19 delivered to the Israeli DCO approximately 20 flares
discovered in a village north of Ramallah.
8. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:
-- The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) convened July 19
in Ramallah. PLC members criticized Hamas for challenging
the Palestinian Authority and imposing its own agenda on the
Palestinian people. According to Palestinian media reports,
PLC Speaker Rawhi Fattuh said that the Hamas and the PA
needed to contain the current crisis so as not to undermine
the interests of the Palestinian people.
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