Cablegate: Wb/G Sitrep: August 8, 2005 (1800 Hours Local) --
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 003557
NEA FOR FO; NEA/SA/EX FOR AUSTIN-FERGUSON; DEPT FOR
DS/IP/ITA; DEPT FOR DS/IP/NEA; NSC FOR ABRAMS/DANIN/MUSTAFA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PBTS PHUM KWBG KPAL IS ASEC
SUBJECT: WB/G SITREP: AUGUST 8, 2005 (1800 HOURS LOCAL) --
TWO PALESTINIANS, TWO ISRAELI SETTLERS SHOT IN WEST BANK
VIOLENCE; NETANYAHU RESIGNS TO PROTEST GAZA PULLOUT
This is a joint ConGen Jerusalem/Embassy Tel Aviv cable.
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The IDF shot and injured two Palestinians
in Tulkarm August 6 during an incursion into the city,
according to Palestinian security sources. Two Israeli
settlers, including a 10-year-old boy, were shot and injured
by Palestinian gunmen near Ateret settlement, north of
Ramallah, according to Israeli newspapers. Al-Aqsa Martyrs
Brigades took responsibility for the attack. In Gaza, three
UNRWA workers were kidnapped and released by militants in
Khan Yunis, UNRWA reported one Palestinian fatality,
militants targeted IDF soldiers in a number of shooting
attacks, and up to 4,000 Hamas supporters demonstrated over
the weekend. Finance Minister Netanyahu resigned from the
Israeli government on August 7 to protest the disengagement
plan. End Summary.
2. (SBU) ATTACKS/SECURITY:
-- Injuries: The IDF shot and injured two Palestinians in
Tulkarm August 6 during an incursion into the city, according
to Palestinian security sources.
-- Injuries: Israeli settlers in Hebron beat and injured
three Palestinians in the Hebron old city on August 6,
according to Palestinian newspapers.
-- Injury: At Qalqiliya checkpoint August 6, IDF soldiers
beat and lightly injured a Palestinian who witnesses said
argued with the soldiers about being allowed through the
checkpoint, according to Palestinian security sources.
-- Injuries: Two Israeli settlers, including a 10-year-old
boy, were shot and injured by Palestinians gunmen near Ateret
settlement, north of Ramallah, according to Israeli
newspapers. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades took responsibility for
-- Arrests: The IDF arrested four Palestinians on security
charges in Nablus August 6, according to PA security sources.
-- Arrests: The IDF arrested four Palestinians in Allar and
Ein al-Bayda villages near Tulkarm on August 6, according to
-- Arrests: The IDF arrested 13 Palestinians in the Bethlehem
area on security charges August 6, according to Palestinian
-- Arrest: Israeli police raided Hind al-Husseini college in
East Jerusalem on August 6 and arrested DFLP political bureau
member Ali Abu Hilal, who was taking part in a seminar at the
college, according to school officials.
-- Arrest: Israeli police arrested Hamas political leader
Hamid al-Bitawi in Jerusalem August 6 for being present in
Jerusalem without a permit, but released him with a warning,
according to Palestinian newspapers.
-- Arrest: The IDF arrested a Palestinian in Dura, near
Hebron, on August 7 after discovering an air rifle and
collection of knives near his residence, according to
-- Attack: Palestinian gunmen fired on two Israeli vehicles
near Qalqiliya and Alfe Menashe settlement on August 7, but
no injuries or serious damage resulted, according to Israeli
3. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:
-- Administrative Detentions: According to Israeli media,
Defense Minister Mofaz ordered that three Kach activists, one
reportedly an American citizen, be placed under
administrative detention for two months during disengagement.
-- PA President Abbas instructed all Fatah Central Committee
(FCC) members to remain in Gaza for the duration of Israel,s
pullout, and began political discussions to include work on
setting a date for PLC elections.
-- PA Prime Minister Quraya and several other cabinet
ministers were in Jenin August 8 to discuss Israel,s pullout
from the northern West Bank, according to Palestinian media.
4. (SBU) ATTACKS/SECURITY:
-- Death/Shooting: Palestinian sources and UNRWA reported
that one man was killed by IDF fire near an IDF outpost south
of Rafah on August 7.
-- Injury/Shooting: Palestinian sources claimed that several
civilians were injured when the IDF fired warning shots at a
group approximately one kilometer outside of an IDF outpost
near Rafah on August 6. UNRWA reported that one Palestinian
male received gunshot wounds in the leg.
-- Shootings: The IDF reported five shooting incidents in
addition to the two listed above in "death" and "injuries."
On August 6 IDF troops came under fire on three occasions:
once south of Rafah, once southeast of Neve Dekalim, and once
east of El Murage. On August 7 IDF troops were targeted near
an outpost south of Gush Katif and near an outpost west of
Khan Yunis. Israeli media reported one additional incident
-- Shootings/Intra-Palestinian: UNRWA reported that an armed
dispute between Fatah members in the Jabalia camp started on
August 4 and resumed on August 5-6 when mediators ended the
-- Mortars: The IDF reported three mortar shells fired over
the weekend: one targeting civilians south of Dugit on August
5, one targeting IDF troops at an outpost northwest of Morag
on August 7, and one targeting IDF troops three kilometers
northeast of the Nachal Oz crossing on August 7.
-- Rockets: UNRWA reported that Palestinians fired two
rockets at Gush Katif on August 7. According to the Israeli
media, Palestinians fired one Qassam rocket at Sderot on
August 8. UNRWA said the rocket was launched from an area
east of Beit Lahia.
-- Explosive Devices: The IDF reported five explosive devices
found and dismantled between August 5-8. On August 5 one
device was located approximately one kilometer west of Gan
Or. On August 6 Palestinian police found two devices: one
south of Kissufim crossing and one near an IDF outpost south
of Gush Katif. On August 7 Palestinian police located two
additional devices: one two kilometers south of Kissufim
crossing and one near Gush Katif.
-- Kidnappings: UNRWA reported that three of its staff (a
British national, a Swiss national, and a Palestinian) were
kidnapped by militants in Khan Yunis on August 8. All three
were released unharmed later in the day and traveled to Gaza
City. UNRWA has prohibited all movement by its
non-Palestinian staff south of Gaza City until further notice.
-- Arrests/Civil Unrest: UNRWA reported that PA security
forces arrested two members of Faruk Qaddumi's "popular army"
in Khan Yunis on August 7. As a result, dozens of armed
militants forced shops to close and occupied the Red Crescent
building until PA officials and mediators convinced them to
-- Demonstration: UNRWA reported that 4,000 Hamas supporters
in the Jabalia camp protested against the killing of Israeli
Arabs in Shfaram on August 6. UNRWA noted that masked and
armed Hamas members participated in the demonstration and
vowed to avenge the attack.
-- Protest: UNRWA reported that on August 6 Palestinians
wounded during the Intifada erected a protest tent near the
PLC building in Gaza City and demanded that the PA provide
them with jobs.
-- Incursion: According to UNRWA, an IDF tank, bulldozer, and
patrol entered the Palestinian village of Al Moghraga, near
Netzarim, on August 6 and withdrew without incident after
searching two houses.
-- Arrests: Israeli radio announced that police arrested nine
Israelis (seven at the Kissufim Junction and two at Kfar
Maimon) for smuggling right-wing activists into Gush Katif.
5. (SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS/INTERNAL CHECKPOINTS:
-- Erez crossing was open for Palestinians. On August 5, 923
workers and 185 Palestinian merchants used the crossing. On
August 6, the numbers were 12 workers and 22 merchants. On
August 7, the numbers were 1,1743 workers and 213 merchants.
On August 8, the numbers were 386 workers and 245 merchants.
-- The Erez Industrial Zone was closed for the weekend, but
open on August 7, when 484 Palestinian workers were admitted,
and on August 8, when 483 workers were admitted.
-- Rafah Terminal was open in both directions, but closed to
Palestinian males between the ages of 16 and 35 on August 6.
UNRWA reported that on August 7 the IDF allowed Palestinian
males in this age group to cross provided they had
coordinated their travel with Israeli authorities through PA
-- The Karni terminal was partially open.
-- Sufa Crossing was closed for Palestinian laborers but open
for construction materials.
-- Netzarim Junction at Salahadeen Road was closed.
-- The Netzarim Coastal Road was open.
-- The Abu Houli internal crossing was open during most
daylight hours. The Abu Houli-Gush Katif road was closed for
part of August 7 due to a demonstration by settlers.
-- Salahadeen Road was open at Sufa/Morag.
-- The Abu Al-Ajeen bypass road was closed.
--- The Toufah checkpoint was closed on August 6 and has not
6. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:
-- The Israeli cabinet voted on August 7 to approve the first
stage of the disengagement from Gaza and PM Sharon publicly
reiterated that implementation would start on August 15 and
"will be carried out in full."
-- Finance Minister Netanyahu resigned from the Government on
August 7 and repeated his criticism of the disengagement plan
(see septels from Embassy Tel Aviv).
-- The Israeli press announced that 1,000 of the 1,700
Israeli families affected by disengagement have filed
compensation claims with the Disengagement Administration.
-- Arab media quoted Hamas leader Ismail Haniya as saying
that the group will work with other factions and the PA
during disengagement to "protect our national heritage and
our legitimate rights to freedom, return and independence."