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Cablegate: Mggz01 - Jerusalem August 15 Sitrep

VZCZCXYZ0014
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJM #3611 2271514
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 151514Z AUG 06
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4236
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 003611

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 15 SITREP


1. (SBU) Summary. Israeli aircraft overnight August 14-15
fired rockets at a suspected Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
house in the Jabaliya refugee camp, injuring at least 10
Palestinians. The IDF continued operations in the vicinity
of the Gaza airport, where clashes resulted in two
Palestinian injuries. Palestinian militants fired four
Qassam rockets from northern Gaza toward Israel, but there
were no reported injuries or property damage. In the West
Bank, IDF units entered the Askar refugee camp in Nablus and
arrested six Fatah activists. The Rafah crossing remains
closed on August 15, but the Karni/al-Mintar and Nahal Oz
crossings are open. End summary.

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

2. (SBU) Israeli aircraft overnight August 14-15 fired
rockets at a home in the Jabaliya refugee camp, destroying
the house while damaging three neighboring structures. At
least 10 Palestinians were injured in the bombing. The IDF
claimed the house was used as a command center by the
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Israeli shelling in Beit
Hanoun injured four Palestinians. The IDF also continued
operations near the Gaza airport, where Israeli units
demolished six structures. Ensuing clashes resulted in two
Palestinian injuries. The Hamas military wing claimed
responsibility for detonating an explosive device that
damaged an Israeli bulldozer near the airport.

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3. (SBU) Palestinian militants have fired four Qassam
rockets since the evening of August 14 from northern Gaza,
resulting in no injuries or property damage. Militants also
fired an anti-tank missile at IDF units near the Erez
crossing, resulting in no casualties. ConGen contacts in the
office of the PA president reported that the incident at Erez
occurred approximately 10 minutes before President Abbas'
convoy passed through the area.

4. (SBU) The PA Ministry of Health released a statement
that, since the start of operation "Summer Rain" following
the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit on June 25, over 190
Palestinians have been killed and more than 790 injured in
the course of IDF operations. Among those killed were 58
Palestinians under the age of 18 and 25 Palestinian women.

5. (SBU) In the West Bank, the IDF on August 15 initiated
a raid into the Askar refugee camp in Nablus, arresting six
Fatah activists. During the operation, a 73-year-old
Palestinian woman reportedly died from heart complications
due to tear gas inhalation. The IDF arrested at least two
others, including a Palestinian carrying a knife at the
entrance to the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs in
Hebron. Palestinian militants also opened fire on IDF units
operating in the northern West Bank on August 14. There were
no reported injuries.

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

6. (SBU) The Rafah crossing is closed August 15,
according to USAID Gaza-based staff. Rafah was last open
August 11.

7. (SBU) The Karni/al-Mintar and Nahal Oz crossings are
open August 15, according to USAID Gaza-based staff. USAID
reported that between June 25 (the date of the abduction of
Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit) and August 15, Karni/al-Mintar
has been open 26 of 45 normal working days, or 58 percent of
the time.

8. (SBU) All ten electricity feeder lines from Israel
into Gaza are operational on August 15, according to USAID
Gaza-based staff.

DUFFY

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