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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05TELAVIV1210 2005-03-01 17:41:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tel Aviv
Cable title:  

WB/G SITREP: MARCH 1, 2005 (1300 HOURS LOCAL) --

Tags:   KWBG PHUM PREL PTER ASEC CASC GZ IS 
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TEL AVIV 001210 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

NEA FOR BURNS/SATTERFIELD/DIBBLE;
NEA/SA/EX FOR RICHIE; DEPT FOR DS/IP/ITA; DEPT FOR
DS/IP/NEA;
NSC FOR ABRAMS/DANIN; USAID FOR DCHA, DCHA/FPP, PRM FOR
DEWEY/GREENE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWBG PHUM PREL PTER ASEC CASC GZ IS
SUBJECT: WB/G SITREP: MARCH 1, 2005 (1300 HOURS LOCAL) --
WEST BANK CLASHES INJURE SIX; GAZA QUIET OVERNIGHT

This is a joint ConGen Jerusalem/Embassy Tel Aviv cable.



1. (SBU) Summary: Palestinian landowners and Israeli and
Palestinian demonstrators clashed with Israeli Border Police
during a protest against the construction of the separation
barrier near the village of Bayt Surik, west of Jerusalem.
One Border Police officer was injured. In Jerusalem, at
least three Palestinian youths sustained light injuries in
clashes with Israeli Border policemen on February 28 in the
Shu,fat refugee camp following an incident in which border
policeman reportedly harassed with Palestinian girls passing
through the checkpoint at the entrance to the camp. Israeli
Police on March 1 detained Shaykh Taysir Tammimi, the chief
justice of the Palestinian religious court, after he
reportedly attempted to enter Jerusalem without a permit. As
of 1600 hours, Palestinian lawyers were attempting to secure
the release of Shaykh Tammimi from Israeli custody at the
Russian Compound. The IDF on February 28 discovered a
vehicle packed with, according to press reports, some 300
kilograms of explosives in the West Bank village of Arraba
southwest of Jenin. Israeli sappers defused the bomb. An
Israeli security official stated that PA security forces
cooperated with the IDF in tracking the vehicle. The Gaza
Strip was largely quiet overnight February 28-March 1. End
Summary.



--------------------------


West Bank


--------------------------





2. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Deaths: Nil.

-- Attack/Injury: Palestinian gunmen on February 28 wounded
two Israeli security guards near the Israeli settlement of
Kiryat Sefer, west of Ramallah. There were no claims of
responsibility.

-- Injury: An Israeli Border policeman sustained light
injuries from rocks thrown by demonstrators during a February
28 protest against the building of the separation barrier
near Bayt Surik (See &Demonstrations/Clashes8).

--Injuries: At least three Palestinian youths on February 28
sustained light injuries during clashes with Israeli Border
police at the checkpoint into the Shu,fat refugee camp (See
&Clashes8).

-- Injury: Palestinians on March 1 clashed with the IDF in
Yatta village south of Hebron. According to witnesses, IDF
soldiers reportedly beat a Palestinian that had thrown stones
at the soldiers.



3. (SBU) ARRESTS/SECURITY:

-- Arrest: Israeli Police March 1 detained Shaykh Taysir
Tammimi, the chief justice of the Palestinian religious
court, after he reportedly attempted to enter Jerusalem
without a permit. As of 1600 hours, Palestinian lawyers were
attempting to secure the release of Shaykh Tammimi from
Israeli custody at the Russian Compound.

-- Arrests: The IDF overnight February 28 ) March 1 arrested
a total of seven Palestinians in the Tulkarm area. In
addition, the IDF arrested four Fatah activists from the
village of Azoun near Qalqiliya.

-- Closure: The IDF tightened its closure around Tulkarm in
the wake of the February 25 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.

-- Incursion: The IDF on March 1 entered Tamoun village near
Jenin to conduct house-to-house searches. As of 1600 hours,
there have been no reported arrests.

-- Security Development: The IDF on February 28 discovered a
vehicle packed with, according to press reports, some 300
kilograms of explosives in the West Bank village of Arraba
southwest of Jenin. Israeli sappers defused the bomb. An
Israeli security official stated that PA security forces
cooperated with the IDF in tracking the vehicle.

-- Shooting Incident: Palestinian gunmen on February 28 fired
gunshots and a grenade at an IDF vehicle traveling in the old
city of Nablus. There were no injuries reported from this
incident. An IDF search of the area resulted in no arrests.

-- Demonstrations/Clashes: Palestinian landowners and Israeli
and Palestinian demonstrators clashed with Israeli Border
Police February 28 during a protest against the construction
of the separation barrier near the village of Bayt Surik west
of Jerusalem.

-- Clashes: Palestinians clashed with Israeli Border
policemen on February 28 in the Shu,fat refugee camp in
Jerusalem following an incident in which border policeman
reportedly harassed with Palestinian girls passing through
the checkpoint at the entrance to the camp.

-- Deportation: The IDF on February 28 deported Ibrahim Abu
Aisha, originally from the Dheisheh refugee camp in
Bethlehem, to the Gaza Strip after he had served 14 months of
administrative detention. The Israeli authorities accuse Abu
Aisha of being a Hamas operative.



4. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:

-- Israeli radio quoted a senior Israeli security official on
March 1 stating that Israeli-Palestinian security talks would
resume next week following the return of PA President Abbas
from the London conference.

-- PA Minister of Youth and Sports Ahmad Sakher Bseiso told
Voice of Palestine radio on March 1 that he had contacted all
Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Palestine Islamic
Jihad, who had reaffirmed their commitment to the cease-fire.
Bseiso added that the Palestinian factions have distanced
themselves from the February 25 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.

-- Palestinian media sources reported March 1 that the IDF
had handed over land confiscation orders in Jaba, village
near Ramallah.



--------------------------


Gaza


--------------------------





5. (SBU) ATTACKS:

-- Deaths: Nil.

-- Injuries: Nil.

-- Mortars/Rockets: Nil.

-- Shootings: The IDF reported that Palestinian militants
launched one shooting attack February 28 at an IDF mobile
patrol northwest of Khan Yunis. No injuries were reported.

-- Explosions: The IDF reported that an explosive device was
found and safely deactivated February 28 one kilometer
northeast of Netzer Hazani, in the Gush Katif settlement
bloc. Israeli media reported that the device weighed some 40
kilograms and was attached to the settlement perimeter fence.

-- Explosions: UNRWA reported that the IDF set and detonated
explosive devices February 28 near Sufa Crossing, in what was
reportedly a search for tunnels in the area.



6. (SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS:

-- Route Four (Salahadeen Road), the main north-south traffic
artery, was open March 1, with a major detour at Netzarim
Junction. Abu Khouli is open only for public transportation;
no private vehicles are allowed to cross.

-- Erez Crossing was open for internationals and for a
limited number of Palestinians February 28, and 983 laborers
and 125 merchants crossed into Israel.

-- The Erez Industrial Zone was open February 28 and 501
laborers entered the zone.

-- Sufa Crossing was closed for Palestinian laborers March 1,
but was open for the import of aggregates used in
construction.

-- Karni Terminal was open for limited imports and exports
March 1.

-- Rafah Terminal was open for arrivals and departures March


1.
-- Tel al-Sultan checkpoint was closed March 1. Toufah
checkpoint was open for residents of al-Mowassi, except for
males between the ages of 16 to 35.



7. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:

-- UNRWA reported that residents of the Jabaliya refugee camp
demonstrated March 1 in Jabaliya, demanding that UNRWA
rebuild their homes demolished in the September-October 2004
IDF operations in the area. Demonstrators claim that UNRWA
is unfairly focusing its reconstruction efforts on the
southern areas.

-- Palestinian sources and UNRWA reported that al-Azhar
University in Gaza City was closed for three days beginning
February 28 pending resolution of a dispute between students
and the newly-appointed head of the university, Dr. Hani
Nijem. The dispute reportedly centers around administrative
issues, including tuition, fees, and diploma qualifications.

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