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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05TELAVIV5956 2005-10-03 14:28:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tel Aviv
Cable title:  

PA-HAMAS CONFRONTATION IN GAZA

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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L TEL AVIV 005956 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/03/2010
TAGS: PREL PINS KWBG KPAL GAZA DISENGAGEMENT ISRAELI PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS
SUBJECT: PA-HAMAS CONFRONTATION IN GAZA

Classified By: DCM Gene A. Cretz. Reason 1.4 (B/D)



1. (C) Summary: Clashes took place in Gaza City on October 2
between Palestinian Authority (PA) policemen and Hamas
gunmen. Three Palestinians were killed -- a senior police
officer and two civilians -- while at least 51 were wounded,
many of whom were bystanders. Two police stations in Gaza
City were badly damaged. Palestinian police protested at an
October 3 Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), firing
volleys in the air from within the PLC compound in Gaza.
Separately, elements of Faruq Qaddumi's "Popular Army" shot
and killed a taxi driver in Khan Yunis. End Summary.



2. (C) A reliable Ministry of Interior (MOI) contact told
poloff that the PA had instituted checkpoints on many roads
in the Gaza Strip on October 2. At one such checkpoint, PA
police had asked for identity cards from the armed passengers
of one vehicle. The occupants, the contact reported, refused
to provide identification and called Hamas militants to the
scene -- near the Shaykh Radwan area of north Gaza City. The
encounter reportedly escalated into gunfire between Hamas
members and the PA police. UNRWA reported that one Hamas
member was shot in the leg and a police car ran over and
killed a girl, one of two civilian casualties. (UNRWA said
there was a conflicting report that a PA officer jumped a
queue at an ATM machine where a Hamas member was waiting,
sparking confrontation.) In any event, the confrontation
escalated. Hamas elements fired three rocket-propelled
grenades at the PA police station at the Shati Refugee camp
along the seashore near Shaykh Radwan, killing the
Palestinian police officer in charge of the station and
another civilian. The Shaykh Radwan police station was
torched during the confrontation, according to UNRWA.



3. (C) The Follow Up Committee of the National and Islamic
Factions met late on October 2 in Gaza to contain the crisis,
according to press reports and the MOI contact. He said the
crisis ended at 0130 on October 3 when "Hamas decided to
retreat," and summarized the impact of the day's events as
"an opportunity for the PA to step forward to control the
street." The PA police arrested eight Hamas members, but the
contact predicted they would be released October 4.



4. (C) On October 3, UNRWA reported gunfire during the
funeral of the PA policeman, which resulted in two injuries.
UNRWA indicated that shots were fired by members of the
funeral procession and returned by Hamas, but an NGO contact
reported that his colleagues had informed him that Hamas had
initiated the gunfire. Separately, PA police entered the
compound and building of the Palestinian Legislative Council
in protest over the absence of PA assistance to the policemen
during their clash with Hamas, according to UNRWA. Firing in
the air outside the building disrupted the session, but
caused no injuries.



5. (C) In Khan Yunis, an unrelated confrontation between
forces of Faruq Qaddumi's "Popular Army" and taxi drivers
blocking a road in an apparent protest of fuel price hikes
resulted in the shooting of two drivers, one of whom died as
a result.


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