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Cablegate: Un Agencies See Continued Tightening in Gaza And

VZCZCXRO8214
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #2198 2971520
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241520Z OCT 07
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9385
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 002198

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE, NEA/IPA FOR
GOLDBERGER/SHAMPAINE/BELGRADE; NSC FOR ABRAMS/SINGH/WATERS;
TREASURY FOR HARRIS/LOEFFLER/NUGENT/HIRSON; BRUSSELS FOR
LERNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF ECON EAID PREL IS KWBG PHUM
SUBJECT: UN AGENCIES SEE CONTINUED TIGHTENING IN GAZA AND
WEST BANK

REF: JERUSALEM 2101

1. (SBU) Summary. UN agencies reported to donors in
Jerusalem on October 18 that the humanitarian and access and
movement situation in the West Bank and Gaza continues to
deteriorate. UNSCO said that GOI officials had confirmed
reports that Gaza's Sufa crossing would soon close
indefinitely, further restricting capacity to import
supplies. OCHA said road obstacles in the West Bank have
increased and disputed reports that the MoD has removed 24
barriers. UNSCO calculates that the separation barrier, if
constructed according to latest plans, would result in 12
percent of West Bank territory and 80,000-90,000 Palestinians
in the "seam zone" between the barrier and Green Line. End
summary.

Gaza Update: Sufa To Close
---------------------------

2. (SBU) UNSCO Acting Head Lynn Hastings said that GOI
Coordinator for Government Affairs in the Territories (COGAT)
General Mishlev confirmed in an October 15 meeting that Sufa
crossing would soon close indefinitely, leaving only one
crossing - Kerem Shalom - open for the transport of
humanitarian supplies into Gaza. Kerem Shalom does not have
the capacity, she said, to process the 170 truckloads of
goods per day required to meet the needs of 1.5 million
Palestinians in Gaza. With only two days of meat and three
days of milk stockpiled in Gaza, supplies are well below the
WFP-recommended stockpiling minimum of 30 days. Non-food
items, such as thread, cloth, and paper, are not being
permitted into Gaza. UNRWA reports that its request to
import paper to print textbooks for the next school semester
was denied in writing. Hastings also noted that only five
patients per day on average leave Gaza for medical treatment,
compared with fifty patients per day in June.

West Bank Update: Longer Barrier, More Obstacles
--------------------------------------------- -----

3. (SBU) Acting Head of OCHA Gwyn Lewis said GOI plans would
leave about 12% of West Bank territory in the "seam zone"
between the barrier and Green Line. She estimated that
80,000-90,000 Palestinians will be caught in the seam zone as
the barrier is completed.

4. (SBU) Lewis said OCHA's recent comprehensive resurvey of
West Bank road obstacles showed a total of 563, a net
increase of 31 over the prior tally dated end-July. When
asked, she disputed unconfirmed reports that the IDF had
removed 24 obstacles. Lewis said the IDF agrees that all
objects included in OCHA's count exist, but disputes whether
all should be labeled "obstacles." She said the IDF has told
OCHA the obstacles will not be removed, but that more
bypasses, link roads, and tunnels will be constructed for
Palestinians to facilitate movement. Lewis concluded that
the obstacles "look to become a permanent regime."

Transition on Checkpoints "Confusing"
-------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Lewis told Refcoord in an aside that the transition
of responsibility for West Bank checkpoints and terminals
along the barrier from the IDF to private contractors is
creating significant confusion on the ground. The UN,s
coordinated effort to push back on impending GOI policies
that would further restrict the movement of UN staff and
supplies in the West Bank is making little progress because
of the various GOI actors involved, she said. Both OCHA and
UNSCO appealed to donors to support their effort to forestall
these additional GOI restrictions.
WALLES

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