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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06JERUSALEM3080
2006-07-20 15:03:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Consulate Jerusalem
Cable title:  

MGGZ01 - JERUSALEM JULY 20 SITREP

Tags:   PREL  PHUM  ASEC  CASC  KPAL  KWBG 
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VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJM #3080/01 2011503
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 201503Z JUL 06
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3587
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L JERUSALEM 003080 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE, NSC FOR ABRAMS/DORAN/LOGERFO, USAID
FOR KUNDER/MCCLOUD/BORODIN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/19/2016
TAGS: PREL PHUM ASEC CASC KPAL KWBG
SUBJECT: MGGZ01 - JERUSALEM JULY 20 SITREP


Classified By: Consul General Jake Walles, per reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

-------
SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) One hundred and three American citizens were
evacuated from Gaza to Amman on July 19. IDF operations in
the central Gaza Strip continued on July 20, killing two and
wounding four. In Nablus, the IDF continued an operation
against the main PA security forces compound. Palestinian
President Abbas met with members of the factions' committee
in Gaza to discuss steps forward. One of the arrested Hamas
cabinet ministers was released on bail. The Karni/al-Mintar
and Nahal Oz crossings are open July 20.



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


AMCIT UPDATE


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





2. (C) 103 American citizens departed Gaza on July 19 and
arrived in Amman at approximately 2030 local (septel). Post
has since received phone calls from an additional 30 American
citizens who want to be evacuated from Gaza. Post is
attempting to facilitate the exit through the Rafah Crossing
of 20 American citizens who were denied permission by the IDF
to exit via the Erez Crossing point.



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


MILITARY DEVELOPMENTS


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





3. (SBU) IDF operations in the al-Maghazi refugee camp in
the central Gaza Strip continued on July 20. On July 19,
four Palestinian gunmen and five civilians were killed, and
at least 50 others injured. On July 20, two gunmen from the
Hamas military wing -- the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigade -- were
killed. Four people were wounded, including two minors hit
by an IDF tank shell. At 1330 local on July 20 several IDF
tanks advanced into the center of the camp, and heavy
shooting was reported. There were reports of Palestinians
with serious injuries resulting from tank fire. In a
separate incident, a car belonging to the Presidential Guard
was hit by IDF fire on the coastal road in the al-Zahra area
of Gaza. One of the Guards was badly injured and another
sustained minor wounds. The IDF conducted air strikes
overnight July 19-20 against militant targets in central
Gaza, killing one and injuring 20 others. The media reported
that the IAF has been dropping leaflets on neighborhoods in
Gaza calling on residents who have ammunition caches in or
under their homes to leave the area ahead of IDF strikes.



4. (C) The Preventive Security Organization's (PSO's) Nablus
headquarters remains surrounded by IDF troops, as they
continue an operation begun on July 19 (septel). According
to USAID Nablus-based field staff, Israeli bulldozers
destroyed several of the buildings in the PSO headquarters
complex. The Israeli press reported the IDF was seeking
several wanted Palestinians hiding inside the compound. Most

of the approximately 170-200 PA security personnel detained
by the IDF on July 19 remained in Israeli custody; 32 have
been released. The bodies of three al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades
gunmen killed in the operation on July 19 were turned over to
the PA and their funerals were held in the Balata camp and in
Nablus city. Approximately 3000 people participated in the
funeral procession, and there were clashes between mourners
and the IDF resulting in at least nine injuries.



5. (SBU) Israeli media reported that at least four Qassam
rockets were fired from northern Gaza towards the Israeli
city of Sderot and the western Negev. There were no reported
injuries.



6. (SBU) According to Israeli media, the IDF has imQsed a
general closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip from July 20
until the evening of July 22. The media reports that the IDF
has received 22 warnings of intended terrorist attacks in
Israel.




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


POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS


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





7. (C) According to sources in the President's office,
President Abbas met with members of the factions'
coordination committee in Gaza on the night of July 19. The
president spoke at length about the current situation. He
stressed the need to revive the Tahdia (including a cessation
of rocket fire), to exchange the kidnapped Israeli soldier
for a "guaranteed" (but deferred) release of Palestinian
prisoners, and to form a national unity government that would
adhere to the Quartet's conditions. The meeting ended with
no concrete results as the Hamas delegates reportedly
expressed reservations to some of the president's suggestions
-- including the revival of Tahdia. The factions agreed to
form a committee to draft a new document that lays out the
points of agreement and the points in dispute to be resolved
in further discussions.



8. (C) An Israeli military court on July 16 decided to
release Palestinian Planning Minister Samir Abu-Ayshah on
5000 NIS bail. Abu-Ayshah, an independent with ties to
Hamas, was arrested as part of the large-scale arrests of
leading Hamas figures on June 29. The court extended the
remand of the other arrested Hamas cabinet ministers and PLC
members so that Israeli officials could continue their
nvestigation.



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


HUMANITARIA UPDATE


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





9. (SBU) Crossigs: The Karni/al-Mintar commercial
crossing opened July 20 at 1130 local, according to a
PalTrade Gaza-based official. The Karni/al-Mintar crossing
July 19 processed 206 truckloads into Gaza, according to a
USAID contractor.

(SBU) The Nahal Oz fuel transfer station is operational
on July 20.

(SBU) The Rafah passenger crossing is closed July 20.




10. (SBU) Electricity: According to USAID Gaza-based field
staff, one of the ten electricity feeder lines from Israel to
Gaza is disabled, as of July 20, and the remaining nine lines
are operational. The single line that supplies the Mid-Gaza
Governorate was damaged in the fighting July 18 and has not
yet been repaired.

WALLES