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Cablegate: Mggz01 - Jerusalem July 26 Sitrep

VZCZCXYZ0010
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJM #3178 2071237
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 261237Z JUL 06
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3731
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 003178

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; OPS PLEASE PASS TO SECRETARY'S PARTY;
OPS PLEASE PASS TO USAID FOR KUNDER/MCCLOUD/BORODIN; PRM
FOR PDAS GREENE AND PRM/ANE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV KWBG KPAL IS
SUBJECT: MGGZ01 - JERUSALEM JULY 26 SITREP

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SUMMARY
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1. (SBU) Heavy fighting between IDF forces and Palestinian
factions in Gaza is ongoing, with reports of at least 14
Palestinian fatalities. At least nine Qassam rockets were
launched into Israel, as of 1500 local July 26. Local media
gave prominent coverage to Secretary Rice's meeting with PA
President Abbas. The Rafah and Karni/al-Mintar crossings are
closed July 26, while the Nahal Oz fuel transfer station is
operational. All ten electricity lines from Israel into Gaza
are operational July 26. End summary.

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MILITARY OPERATIONS
-------------------

2. (SBU) A senior American officer assigned to the UN Truce
Supervision Organization (UNTSO) headquarters in Jerusalem
reported that both American citizens assigned to UNTSO are
accounted for after the bombing of the UNTSO position at
al-Khayam in southern Lebanon, July 25.

3. (SBU) At least 13 Palestinians have been killed,
including three PIJ activists, a Hamas military wing member,
and a 7-year old child, during a still ongoing IDF incursion,
as of 1500 local July 26, into the Shijaya neighborhood of
Gaza City, a heavily crowded Hamas stronghold. Israeli
forces, with at least 20 APCs, are engaged there in heavy
fighting. At least 42 Palestinians have been injured, 11
critically. In the Khan Younis governorate, a 14-year old
was killed in Abbasan village. There were IDF air strikes
against houses in Rafah and Gaza City, both of which were
allegedly used to store weapons for the Hamas military wing;
no casualties or injuries.

4. (SBU) IDF arrest operations continued in the West Bank.
A senior al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade member Ibrahim al-Hindi was
arrested in Ramallah. During the military operation in
Ramallah, the IDF raided the military intelligence
headquarters and the office of the Palestinian Broadcasting
Corporation. At least three were lightly wounded by IDF
gunfire.

5. (SBU) At least nine Qassam rockets were fired July 26, as
of 1500 local. Three were fired towards Ashkelon and the
western Negev, and six just north of the Erez crossing. No
injuries or damage were reported by the Israeli media. The
Iz al-Din Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas,
claimed responsibility for three of the rockets fired north
of Erez. The PFLP military wing claimed responsibility for
one of the three rockets fired July 25.

6. (SBU) PA security forces scuffled July 25 with nearly 700
Palestinian protesters, carrying flags of militant groups
such as Hamas, PIJ, Hizballah, who tried to approach the
Presidential compound, Muqata, in Ramallah, while Secretary
Rice met with President Abbas. The PA security forces
stopped the protesters one kilometer from the compound.

----------------------
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION
----------------------

7. (SBU) The Rafah passenger crossing is closed July 25.
The Karni/al-Mintar crossing is closed on July 26, according
to USAID Gaza-based staff. It was open July 25 and 213
truckloads entered Gaza. The Nahal Oz fuel transfer station
is operational on July 26.

8. (SBU) All ten electricity feeder lines from Israel into
Gaza are operational July 26. Municipal employees in Rafah
and Gaza City began striking July 26 due to non-payment of
salaries in four months, so solid waste is piling up.
WALLES

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