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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06JERUSALEM5060
2006-12-29 12:32:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Consulate Jerusalem
Cable title:  

HANIYAH EXITS RAFAH BY CAR; GAZA INFIGHTING

Tags:   PREL  KWBG  PTER  IS  KPAL 
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VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJMA #5060 3631232
ZNY CCCCC ZZH ZUI RUEWMCF3452 3631338
O 291232Z DEC 06 ZDK
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0000
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L JERUSALEM 005060 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE, NSC FOR ABRAMS/DORAN/WATERS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/29/2016
TAGS: PREL KWBG PTER IS KPAL
SUBJECT: HANIYAH EXITS RAFAH BY CAR; GAZA INFIGHTING
DECLINES

REF: JERUSALEM 5027

CLASSIFIED BY: CONSUL GENERAL JAKE WALLES, FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)

C O N F I D E N T I A L JERUSALEM 005060

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE, NSC FOR ABRAMS/DORAN/WATERS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/29/2016
TAGS: PREL KWBG PTER IS KPAL
SUBJECT: HANIYAH EXITS RAFAH BY CAR; GAZA INFIGHTING
DECLINES

REF: JERUSALEM 5027

CLASSIFIED BY: CONSUL GENERAL JAKE WALLES, FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)


1. (C) SUMMARY. PA PRIME MINISTER ISMAYIL HANIYAH EXITED
RAFAH BY VEHICLE DECEMBER 28, VIOLATING PROTOCOLS REQUIRING
ALL PERSONS TO CROSS THE BORDER ON FOOT EXCEPT VIPS WITH
PRIOR COORDINATION, ACCORDING TO EU-BAM. 300 PALESTINIANS
WHO CROSSED THE BORDER FROM EGYPT NEAR THE 1630 CLOSING TIME
WERE PROCESSED AFTERHOURS WITHOUT EU-BAM PRESENT. RAFAH
TERMINAL IS OPEN DECEMBER 29. WHILE FATAH-HAMAS TENSIONS
REMAIN HIGH, INTERFACTIONAL VIOLENCE HAS TAPERED OFF IN GAZA
AFTER DECEMBER 24 HAMAS-FATAH AGREEMENTS TO END INTERFACTION
INCITEMENT AND FIGHTING. SOME CLASHES CONTINUED IN THE
NORTHERN WEST BANK.

HANIYAH EXITS GAZA AT RAFAH,
BUT REFUSES TO LEAVE VEHICLE
--------------


2. (C) PM ISMAYIL HANIYAH, ACCOMPANIED BY FOREIGN MINISTER
MAHMUD AL-ZAHAR, INTERIOR MINISTER SA'ID SIYAM AND ACTING PLC
SPEAKER AHMAD BAHAR, EXITED GAZA BY CAR VIA RAFAH CROSSING
DECEMBER 28 AT 1215 LOCAL, ACCORDING TO EU-BAM OPERATIONS
CHIEF PATRICK DELVAL. DELVAL SAID THAT HANIYAH'S ENTOURAGE
ENTERED THE RAFAH TERMINAL IN TWO VEHICLES, AND THAT ONLY TWO
OF THE OCCUPANTS EXITED THE VEHICLES TO PRESENT PASSPORTS.
HANIYAH AND THE MINISTERS REFUSED TO EXIT THE VEHICLES, HE
SAID, AND DID NOT GIVE PRIOR NOTICE THAT THEY WOULD CROSS BY
VEHICLE OR THE NAMES OF THOSE CROSSING.


3. (C) THE RAFAH PROTOCOL DOES NOT ALLOW VEHICLES TO PASS
THROUGH THE TERMINAL EXCEPT UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES FOR
SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WITH PRIOR NOTICE, ACCORDING TO
DELVAL. WHEN NOTIFIED THAT HANIYAH HAD ENTERED RAFAH
TERMINAL, THE ISRAELI LIAISON AT KAREM SHALOM TOLD EU-BAM
THAT HANIYAH MUST CROSS BY FOOT, DELVAL SAID. THE LIAISON
SAID THAT: A) AS SENIOR MEMBERS OF THE HAMAS-LED PA THAT DOES
NOT RECOGNIZE ISRAEL, THEY DO NOT QUALIFY FOR SPECIAL
COURTESIES EXTENDED TO &SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS8 UNDER
THE RAFAH PROTOCOL; B) HANIYAH GAVE NO PRIOR NOTIFICATION AS

REQUIRED BY THE PROTOCOL; THEREFORE C) HANIYAH SHOULD PASS
THROUGH THE TERMINAL ON FOOT, LIKE ALL TRAVELERS, AND THEN TO
A VIP BUS THAT WOULD TAKE HIM TO THE EGYPTIAN SIDE.


4. (C) DESPITE ISRAELI OBJECTIONS COMMUNICATED TO EU-BAM,
DELVAL SAID THAT HANIYAH CROSSED THROUGH THE TERMINAL BY
VEHICLE TO THE EGYPTIAN SIDE, AT WHICH TIME HIS PARTY EXITED
THE TWO VEHICLES. THE VEHICLES DRIVERS THEN DROVE BACK
THROUGH THE TERMINAL INTO GAZA.

HANIYAH ON HAJJ, MIDEAST TOUR
--------------


5. (SBU) HANIYAH IS IN MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA, TO COMPLETE THE
HAJJ, AND WILL THEN VISIT QATAR, KUWAIT AND JORDAN, ACCORDING
TO PALESTINIAN NEWSPAPERS. AFTER LEAVING GAZA, HANIYAH AND
HIS PARTY TOOK A PRIVATE PLANE, PROVIDED BY SAUDI KING
ABDALLAH, FROM AL-ARISH AIRPORT TO SAUDI ARABIA, ACCORDING TO
A STATEMENT BY HANIYAH'S GAZA OFFICE.

CROSSING BRIEFLY SHUT,
DUE TO POWER OUTAGE
--------------


6. (C) SHORTLY AFTER HANIYAH LEFT, EU-BAM SHUT THE CROSSING
FOR AN HOUR DUE TO LOSS OF VIDEO FEED TO KAREM SHALOM CAUSED
BY A POWER OUTAGE, DELVAL SAID, BUT THEN REOPENED THE
TERMINAL UNTIL 1630 LOCAL.

300 PALESTINIANS CROSS AFTER
CLOSING; RAFAH OPEN DEC. 29
--------------


7. (C) DELVAL SAID THAT NEAR RAFAH'S SCHEDULED CLOSE (1630
LOCAL) ON DECEMBER 28, EGYPTIAN BORDER GUARDS ALLOWED THREE
BUSES CARRYING ABOUT 300 PEOPLE INTO THE CORRIDOR BETWEEN THE
EGYPTIAN AND PALESTINIAN GATES. THE EGYPTIANS THEN DEPLOYED
RIOT POLICE AT THEIR GATE. AS EU-BAM MONITORS PREPARED TO
DEPART, DELVAL SAID, THE PALESTINIAN CROSSING OFFICIALS TOLD
THE MONITORS THAT THE EGYPTIANS HAD AGREED TO TAKE BACK THE
BUSES AND PROCESS THE TRAVELERS THE FOLLOWING DAY. AFTER THE
MONITORS DEPARTED, HOWEVER, THE EGYPTIANS DID NOT OPEN THEIR
GATE, AND THE PASSENGERS DISEMBARKED FROM THE BUSES AND
HEADED TOWARD THE PALESTINIAN TERMINAL, HE SAID. DELVAL SAID
THAT PALESTINIAN OFFICIALS DETERMINED THAT THEY HAD NO VIABLE
CHOICE OTHER THAN TO PROCESS THE 300 TRAVELERS, EVEN THOUGH
THEY WERE AWARE THAT IN DOING SO THEY WERE VIOLATING THE
RAFAH PROTOCOL. DELVAL OPINED THAT UNTIL RAFAH OPERATES


UNDER A NORMAL, PREDICTABLE SCHEDULE, INCIDENTS SUCH AS THIS
WILL PERSIST, AS THE PALESTINIAN TRAVELERS HAD NO CONFIDENCE
THAT THE BORDER CROSSING WOULD BE OPEN DECEMBER 29.


8. (C) RAFAH CROSSING IS OPEN DECEMBER 29, AND BY 1330 LOCAL
HAD PROCESSED OVER 1,300 PEOPLE, DELVAL SAID. A TOTAL OF
2,100 PEOPLE PASSED THROUGH RAFAH ON DECEMBER 28 (IN BOTH
DIRECTIONS).

FACTIONAL VIOLENCE DOWN IN GAZA
--------------


9. (SBU) FOLLOWING HAMAS-FATAH AGREEMENTS DECEMBER 24 TO END
INTERFACTIONAL INCITEMENT AND VIOLENCE, NO PALESTINIANS HAVE
BEEN KILLED IN GAZA, THOUGH TENSIONS REMAIN HIGH. THE LAST
SERIOUS HAMAS-FATAH INCIDENTS OCCURRED DECEMBER 23, WHEN
GUNMEN (ALLEGEDLY HAMAS) FIRED AT PREVENTIVE SECURITY
ORGANIZATION (PSO) MAJ. HASAN JARBU', INJURING HIM AND A
BODYGUARD, AND DECEMBER 24, WHEN UNKNOWN GUNMEN FIRED SHOTS
AT THE RESIDENCE OF FOREIGN MINISTER MAHMUD AL-ZAHAR (HAMAS),
WITHOUT CAUSING ANY INJURIES. HAMAS-FATAH FIGHTING HAS
CONTINUED IN THE NORTHERN WEST BANK, WHERE GUNMEN SHOT AND
SERIOUSLY INJURED A HAMAS ACTIVIST IN JENIN DECEMBER 27, AND,
SEPARATELY, ATTEMPTED TO KIDNAP A HAMAS ACTIVIST IN NABLUS
DECEMBER 25.
WALLES