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Cablegate: Mggz01 - Jerusalem August 7 Sitrep

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJM #3440 2191455
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071455Z AUG 06
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4032
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 003440

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE, NSC FOR ABRAMS/DORAN/WATERS, USAID
FOR KUNDER/MCCLOUD/BORODIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ASEC CASC KPAL KWBG PHUM
SUBJECT: MGGZ01 - JERUSALEM AUGUST 7 SITREP


1. (SBU) Summary. The IDF concluded a three-day operation
on August 6 in southern Gaza that resulted in 17 Palestinians
killed, including seven civilians. Palestinian militants
fired Qassam rockets the evening of August 5, resulting in no
injuries or damage. Palestinian gunmen shot and killed on
August 6 in Gaza City the director of Military Intelligence
for northern Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF killed on
August 6 a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad activist near
Jenin. The IDF conducted arrest operations August 5-7,
including the detention of Palestinian Legislative Council
(PLC) Speaker Aziz Dweik and a second PLC member. The Rafah
crossing is closed August 7, but Karni/al-Mintar and Nahal Oz
crossings are operational. End summary.

Military Developments
---------------------

2. (SBU) The IDF concluded a three-day operation on August
6 in southern Gaza near Rafah. Palestinian medical sources
report that 17 Palestinians were killed during the operation,
including nine Hamas and one Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
member. Seven others were identified as civilians, while 52
Palestinians were wounded. Officials from the Rafah
governor's office reported significant damage to
infrastructure.

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3. (SBU) Palestinian militants launched three Qassam
rockets the evening of August 5 from northern Gaza in the
direction of the Western Negev. There were no reported
injuries or damage. The Popular Resistance Committees and
PIJ claimed responsibility for the rocket fire. The IDF on
August 5 fired at suspected militants attempting to launch
rockets from northern Gaza, injuring one Palestinian
civilian, according to Palestinian sources.

4. (SBU) Palestinian gunmen shot and killed Colonel
Muhammad al-Musa, the director of Military Intelligence for
northern Gaza, as he traveled in his vehicle on August 6 in
Gaza City. Al-Musa's bodyguard and one civilian were also
injured in the attack. Fatah, which has announced a
three-day period of mourning, accused the Hamas military wing
of orchestrating the killing.

5. (SBU) In the West Bank, the IDF conducted a raid the
afternoon of August 6 into Silat al-Harithiyah, northwest of
Jenin, and surrounded the house of wanted PIJ activist Raed
Najib al-Umari. During the operation, al-Umari was killed in
an exchange of gunfire with the IDF. Palestinian youths also
clashed with the IDF, resulting in three injuries and five
arrests. Palestinian gunmen also fired on IDF troops in
Yamoun village near Jenin and hurled an explosive device near
Tulkarm. There were no reported injuries from these
incidents.

6. (SBU) The IDF on August 6 arrested Hamas PLC member
(Ramallah) Shaykh Fadel Saleh. The arrest follows the August
5 arrest of PLC Speaker Aziz Dweik. Since June 25, the IDF
has detained 29 Hamas PLC members and five PA cabinet
ministers. The IDF overnight August 6-7 arrested 14
Palestinians in Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah, Hebron, and
Bethlehem.

Humanitarian Update
-------------------

7. (SBU) The Rafah crossing remains closed August 7. Both
the Karni/al-Mintar and Nahal Oz crossings are operational
August 7, as they were August 6, according to USAID
Gaza-based staff. Gaza-based PalTrade official Mohammed
Skaik reported that 230 truckloads transited the
Karni/al-Mintar crossing into Gaza August 6, including sugar,
flour, cooking oil, rice, animal feed, medicines, and frozen
foods. For the first time since June 23, Skaik reported that
eight truckloads were exported out of Gaza August 6,
specifically ice cream and cookies destined for the West Bank
market.

8. (SBU) Nine of the ten electricity feeder lines from
Israel into Gaza are operational on August 7. The single
feeder line from Israel into the Rafah area, damaged in an
August 2 military operation, has not yet been repaired.

WALLES

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