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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06JERUSALEM2835 2006-07-07 10:00:00 CONFIDENTIAL Consulate Jerusalem
Cable title:  

MGGZ01 - ISRAELI GAZA INCURSION - JERUSALEM JULY 7

Tags:   PREL ASEC CASC KPAL KWBG PHUM 
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VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJM #2835/01 1881000
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 071000Z JUL 06
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3259
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L JERUSALEM 002835 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE AND IPA; NSC FOR ABRAMS/DORAN/LOGERFO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/07/2016
TAGS: PREL ASEC CASC KPAL KWBG PHUM
SUBJECT: MGGZ01 - ISRAELI GAZA INCURSION - JERUSALEM JULY 7
SITREP

REF: JERUSALEM 2825

Classified By: Consul General Jake Walles. Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d).


-------
Summary
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1. (C) The casualty rates associated with ongoing IDF
operations spiked sharply on July 6 and 7, with at least 21
Palestinians reported killed and over 65 wounded; one Israeli
soldier was reported killed and several more wounded. At
least eight Qassam rockets were fired, with no reported
injuries. IDF airstrikes throughout Gaza continue. An IDF
raid in the West Bank nearly captured al-Aqsa Brigades'
leader Zakaria Zubeidi and several other wanted militants.
PA Interior Minister Said Siyyam has issued several calls for
PA Security Forces to take action against the IDF; the PASF
appear to be largely ignoring his orders and President
Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has reportedly instructed Siyyam to
stop issuing such instructions. Post is planning to evacuate
approximately 87 American citizens via the Erez crossing
point on the morning of July 8. Crossings into Gaza from
Egypt and Israel are reported closed.



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


Military Developments


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





2. (C) Military operations on July 6 and 7 resulted in a
sharp spike in casualties and wounded, with a least 21
Palestinians reported killed, over 65 injured (11
critically), one Israeli soldier killed, and several more
wounded. A large number of teenagers and children are
reported among the injured; TV images of the fighting show
Palestinian gunmen engaging with the IDF while groups of
curious children in the immediate vicinity look on.



3. (C) IDF operations continue in three main sectors of the
Gaza strip. IDF forces in the north have reached the
outskirts of Beit Lahiya, encircled the town of Beit Hanoun,
and control the areas of the former Nisanit, Dugit, and Eli
Sinai settlements. In the center, the IDF is operating in the
area of Khan Younis, and Abbasan and al-Faraheen villages. In
the south, the IDF controls the Rafah airport and the nearby
village of Shoka. The most intense conflicts on July 6 took
place in the Atatra section of northern Gaza and around the
village of Abbasan in the center.



4. (U) At least 8 Qassam rockets were fired at Israel on July


6. Israeli media reports that three landed in the town of
Sderot, one in the town of Kfar Aza, one near Kibbutz Zikim
(south of Ashkelon) and three in an open field near the Gaza
border. No injuries were reported.



5. (C) IDF airstrikes continue throughout Gaza. Five
Palestinian gunmen were reported killed in an IAF strike on
July 6 in northern Gaza, a Palestinian gunmen was reportedly
killed in a missile strike near Jabiliyya refugee camp on
July 6, and three Palestinian gunmen were reported killed on
the morning of July 7 near Atatra.



6. (U) In the West Bank, an IDF raid on Jenin on July 6
apparently came close to capturing al-Aqsa Brigades' leader
Zakaria Zubeidi, PIJ leader Mahmoud al-Sadi, and PIJ military
wing leader Ahmad Jaradat as they attended wake for an
al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade gunman killed on July 5. The
militant leaders escaped and, according to Israeli media
reports, quickly contacted journalists to report their
successful escape. A battle broke out between the IDF and
remaining gunmen, resulting in the death of one Palestinian
gunmen and the wounding of at least six others.



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


Political Developments


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





7. (SBU) A London "al-Hayat" article claims that Hamas has
revised its demands and now seeks the release of
approximately 100 female prisoners and 30 males who have
served at least 20 years received wide media coverage.



8. (SBU) Prime Minister Ismael Hanniyyah visited the wounded;
Israeli press reports quote him as saying the IDF offensive
is a "crime against humanity" and "a desperate effort to
undermine the Palestinian government under the pretext of a
search for the missing soldier." Palestinian media quote
Hanniyyah as also saying the only solution for the current

crisis is a diplomatic one.



9. (C) PA Interior Minister Said Siyyam has issued
instructions over the course of the week directing all
Palestinian security forces to deploy into areas of
confrontation with Israel; those security forces not directly
linked to Hamas reportedly ignored his orders. On July 6,
Siyyam reportedly issued instructions ordering Palestinian
security forces to take action against the IDF; again, those
forces not linked to Hamas do not appear to have heeded the
instructions and President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has
reportedly told Siyyam to stop issuing such instructions and
instructed the PASF not to engage the IDF.



10. (SBU) Hamas has called on its supporters to publicly
demonstrate against the incursion after noon prayers on July
7, and has asked for Imams to address the situation in their
Friday sermons. IDF police on July 6 arrested Hassan
Khreisheh, the second deputy PLC speaker, as he attempted to
enter the West Bank via the Allenby Bridge from Jordan.
Khreisheh (an Independent with ties to Hamas) had reportedly
been meeting with parliamentarians in Europe, including some
Israeli Knesset members.



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


AMCIT Update


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





11. (C) On the morning of July 8, Post is planning to move
approximately 87 of the estimated 130 American citizens
requesting assistance in leaving Gaza via the Erez crossing
point. Post is liaising with Embassy Tel Aviv, COGAT, and
Palestinian Presidential Guard, and is in the process of
contacting the individual Americans.



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


Humanitarian Update


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





12. (SBU) Fuel: According to Paltrade contacts, the
Karni/al-Mintar crossing and Nahal Oz fuel transfer station
were closed July 6 and remained closed as of 11:30 am, July


7. Gaza gas station owner Abu Hisham al-Khozendar estimated
that 60 to 65 percent of gas stations have no stocks. Both
al-Khozendar and WHO representative Mahmud Daher predicted
that Gaza will run out of gasoline in two days. Per reftel,
based on average daily consumption rates, Gaza should run out
of gasoline July 7 and has already run out of diesel and
cooking gas.



13. (SBU) Crossings: The Erez crossing remains closed. The
Rafah crossing remains closed.



14. (SBU) Electricity: USAID Gaza-based field staff reported
that the IDF struck the main electrical transformer in Atatra
on July 7. Repair crews and other municipal employees have
been unable to enter the area, and the municipality has
approached USAID for assistance in coordinating access with
the GOI. USAID Gaza-based field staff reported that there
continues to be no electricity and no water in Rafah as
reported in reftel. The Rafah municipality has also
approached USAID for assistance in coordinating access for
its municipality workers.

WALLES