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Cablegate: Palestinian Security Forces Discover Rocket Buried West of Ramallah

VZCZCXRO2746
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #0277 0431616
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 121616Z FEB 10
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7580
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L JERUSALEM 000277

SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE, SEMEP, AND NEA/IPA; NSC FOR SHAPIRO/KUMAR; JOINT STAFF FOR LTGEN SELVA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/12/2020
TAGS: PTER KWBG KPAL IS
SUBJECT: PALESTINIAN SECURITY FORCES DISCOVER ROCKET BURIED WEST OF RAMALLAH

Classified By: Consul General Daniel Rubinstein for reasons 1.4 (b,d).

1. (C) On February 11, Palestinian Authority (PA) security officials informed Post that they had recently discovered a homemade, Qassam-style rocket buried underground, west of Ramallah. These officials said they had handed the rocket, which appeared to have been buried over a year ago and was no longer operational, over to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) District Coordination Office (DCO), located outside Ramallah in Beit El. The IDF subsequently returned the rocket to the PA, so that PA security services could complete their investigation into the incident.

2. (C) According to PA sources, the buried rocket was located following the interrogation of two Hamas members detained by PA security services. The two had confessed to attempting to manufacture munitions for use against Israeli targets in the West Bank and Israel. They also confessed to firing one rocket, which by their account exploded prematurely upon firing. PA security officials said that the suspects had implicated other West Bank residents in their scheme, and that PA security forces were preparing to launch an arrest campaign targeting nine Hamas affiliates suspected of involvement. RUBINSTEIN

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