Cablegate: Wb/G Sitrep: August 9, 2005 (1800 Hours Local) --
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 003580
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 9, 2005 (1800 HOURS LOCAL) --
ICRC SUSPENDS GAZA OPERATIONS AFTER VIOLENCE; PALESTINIAN
TEEN SHOT/KILLED IN CLASHES WITH IDF
This is a joint ConGen Jerusalem/Embassy Tel Aviv cable.
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The International Committee of the Red
Cross (ICRC) has suspended its activity in Gaza after
militants fired at their offices in Khan Yunis August 8 and
in the aftermath of recent kidnappings of foreign aid
workers. The IDF shot and killed a Palestinian in Nur Shams
Refugee Camp, near Tulkarm, August 8 and injured five others
after stones and a firebomb were thrown at IDF jeeps
executing a raid there. PA President Abbas delivered a
speech to the PLC August 9 in which he called for calm during
Israel,s pullout from Gaza and pushed for creation of an
office of vice-president. He also set a January date for PLC
elections (Septel). End Summary.
2. (SBU) ATTACKS/SECURITY:
-- Death: The IDF shot and killed an 18-year-old Palestinian,
Tamer Zandaq, during stone-throwing clashes in Nur Shams
refugee camp near Tulkarm August 8, according to Palestinian
media reports. Israeli media coverage quoted IDF sources
saying that Zandaq was part of a group that had thrown a
firebomb at an IDF jeep.
-- Injuries: The IDF shot and injured five other Palestinians
in the above incident, according to Palestinian media
-- Arrests: The PA on August 8 arrested three Palestinians
suspected of carrying out a shooting attack on an Israeli
settler,s car near Qalqiliya August 7, in which a
10-year-old Israeli boy was seriously wounded. PA security
sources said that the weapon likely used was seized and that
the three were transferred to Jericho prison for
-- Arrests: The IDF arrested two Palestinians in Nablus and
three in Attil village near Tulkarm on August 8, according to
-- Arrest: According to Israeli radio, Israeli police
arrested an Israeli settler for allegedly shouting anti-Arab
slogans near the Justice Ministry in East Jerusalem on August
-- Curfew/Closure: Azun village, near Qalqiliya, remains
under total closure and curfew imposed by the IDF on August 9.
-- Riots/Lawlessness: Fighting including gunfire broke out at
Bir Zayt University in Ramallah August 9 when Hamas tried to
stop Fatah students from holding a ceremony on-campus.
Tensions have been high since Fatah narrowly won student
council elections. University administrators temporarily
closed the school until disputes between the factions can be
3. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:
-- PA President Abbas delivered a speech to the PLC August 9
calling for calm during Israel,s pullout from Gaza and
saying that a peaceful pullout and takeover of Gaza would
demonstrate that the PA can maintain security and govern
effectively. He also met with Fatah members of the PLC to
push for creation of an office of vice-president. He also
set a January date for PLC elections (Septel).
-- PA Prime Minister Quraya, visited Jenin August 8, calling
for the Gaza pullout to be the beginning of additional
Israeli pullouts from the West Bank. He condemned continuing
settlement activity in the West Bank.
4. (SBU) ATTACKS/SECURITY:
-- Shootings: The IDF reported 11 shootings in Gaza August 8:
two shootings near the Netzarim settlement that targeted IDF
patrols, one shooting targeting IDF soldiers at the Mor
Bridge, a shooting near the Morag settlement, three shootings
at IDF soldiers near Khan Yunis, and four shootings, one
targeting Israeli civilians and three targeting IDF soldiers,
near Rafah. No injuries resulted.
-- Shooting: Israeli radio reported at 14:17 hrs that
Palestinians fired on IDF troops in southern Gaza. No
casualties were reported.
-- Shooting: UNRWA reported that on August 9 at approximately
1325 hrs IDF soldiers in an outpost on Karni road fired
machine guns for five minutes at the Palestinian area of
Karni road. UNRWA reported that it believes the shooting was
to cover an Israeli convoy traveling on the road. No
injuries were reported.
-- Shooting: According to UNRWA, on August 8 at approximately
2310 hrs IDF soldiers in an outpost located near the Rafah
Terminal fired machine guns for ten minutes at the
Palestinian Al Shouka area. A 24-year-old man received
shrapnel wounds in his leg.
-- Mortars: The IDF reported one mortar shell fired into
Israel August 8 at 1230. The shell targeted Israeli civilians
north of Sderot. No injuries were reported.
-- Explosions: UNRWA reported that on August 9 at 1415 hrs a
home-made bomb went off while it was being handled in Tel
Es-Sultan, critically injuring a 23-year-old man.
-- Incursion: UNRWA reported that on August 8 at 2300 hrs IDF
troops guarding the border fence of Bureij camp lit the area
with flares and conducted a search operation with sporadic
shooting. UNRWA believes that the IDF suspected that
Palestinians were trying to enter Israel.
-- Arrests: UNRWA reported that on August 8 at 0430 hrs the
IDF arrested Muhammed al-Majjar in his house west of Khan
Yunis. According to Israeli media reports, he was suspected
of terrorist activity.
5. (SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS/INTERNAL CHECKPOINTS:
-- Erez crossing was open for Palestinians. On August 9, 306
Palestinian laborers and 136 Palestinian merchants used the
-- The Erez Industrial Zone was open August 9, with 434
Palestinian laborers admitted.
-- Rafah Terminal was open in both directions, but closed to
Palestinian males between the ages of 16 and 35 on August 9.
UNRWA reported that the IDF allowed Palestinian males in this
age group to cross provided they had coordinated their travel
with Israeli authorities through PA officials.
-- The Karni terminal was partially open August 9.
-- Sufa Crossing was closed for Palestinian laborers but open
for construction materials August 9.
-- Netzarim Junction at Salahadeen Road was closed August 9.
-- The Netzarim Coastal Road was open August 9.
-- The Abu Houli internal crossing was open August 9.
-- Salahadeen Road was open at Sufa/Morag August 9.
-- The Abu Al-Ajeen bypass road was closed August 9.
--- The Toufah checkpoint was closed August 6 and had not
been reopened through August 9.
6. (SBU) Political Developments:
-- The International Red Cross (ICRC) suspended its activity
in Gaza after militants fired at its offices in Khan Yunis
August 8 and in the aftermath of recent kidnappings of
foreign aid workers. On August 8, three UNRWA workers in
Khan Yunis were kidnapped by militants and later released.
Israel media reported that the ICRC closed its offices in
Khan Yunis indefinitely. ICRC also cited an overall
deteriorating security situation in Gaza for its closure.
-- The PA Foreign Ministry called on the international
community to continue to recognize the Gaza Strip as occupied
territory after Israel evacuates Gaza.