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Cablegate: Mggz01 - Jerusalem August 8 Sitrep

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJM #3464 2201415
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081415Z AUG 06
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4063
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 003464

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM ASEC CASC KPAL KWBG
SUBJECT: MGGZ01 - JERUSALEM AUGUST 8 SITREP


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Gaza was generally quiet overnight August
7-8. Five Qassam rockets were launched from Gaza into
Israel, but there were no reported injuries or damage. In
the West Bank, IDF forces arrested three wanted Palestinians.
Several staff members at the PA Prime Minister's office in
Ramallah were hospitalized August 7 after they opened an
envelope containing a suspicious substance. Hamas officials
have described the incident as an "assassination attempt."
Jailed PLC Speaker Aziz Dweik was transported to an Israeli
hospital August 7, reportedly suffering from chest pains.
The Rafah, Karni/al-Mintar and Nahal Oz crossings are closed
August 8. END SUMMARY.


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

2. (SBU) Gaza was generally quiet overnight August 7;
however three Qassam rockets were launched from Gaza toward
the Western Negev on August 7 and an additional two were
launched on August 8. There were no reported injuries or
damage.

3. (SBU) In the West Bank, IDF special units arrested three
wanted Palestinians near Qalqiliya on August 7.

4. (SBU) A 48-year old Palestinian farmer from Duma in the
northern West Bank was shot and killed August 6 and his son
was moderately injured when unknown gunmen fired on their
truck near the Zatara checkpoint. Palestinian witnesses
claim that the gunmen were Israeli settlers.


Political Developments
----------------------

5. (SBU) The Prime Minister's office in Ramallah received an
envelope containing a suspicious substance on August 7, which
resulted in several employees going to the hospital after
being exposed to the envelope's contents. The envelope was
sent to a Bir Zeit University laboratory for tests.
President Abbas ordered an investigation of the incident, but
Hamas officials claim that the envelope was an "assassination
attempt."

6. (SBU) PLC Speaker Aziz Dweik, who was arrested by Israeli
forces on August 5, was transported to hospital from his
detention center August 7. There are conflicting reports as
to the cause of his hospitalization, but Palestinian sources
report that Dweik has a history of heart problems.

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

7. (SBU) The Rafah crossing remains closed August 8. PLO
Chief Negotiator Sa'eb Erekat told the Consul General that he
had been informed by the GOI that the crossing could open for
two days (August 9-10) to allow individuals in the following
categories to leave Gaza: businessmen, those returning to
jobs overseas, students returning to study overseas, and
humanitarian cases. (Note: The Rafah crossing had been
slated to open August 5, but this opening was canceled due to
military operations in the area. End note.) Both the
Karni/al-Mintar and Nahal Oz crossings are closed August 8
but were operational August 7, according to USAID Gaza-based
staff. According to the USAID Gaza-based staff,
Karni/al-Mintar crossing was closed for 48 hours in order to
put in place new security arrangements.

8. (SBU) All ten electricity feeder lines from Israel into
Gaza are operational on August 8, thereby meeting 50 percent
of Gaza electricity demand. The feeder line into the Rafah
area, that had been damaged August 2, was repaired late on
August 7 by the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company
(GEDCO).


WALLES

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