INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: The Situation On the Ground March 30, 2004 --

Published: Tue 30 Mar 2004 01:30 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 001928
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
NEA FOR BURNS/SATTERFIELD
NEA/SA/EX FOR AUSTIN-FERGUSON; DEPT FOR DS/IP/NEA;
DEPT FOR DS/IP/ITA; DRL FOR A/S CRANER;
NSC FOR ABRAMS/DANIN;
USAID FOR DCHA, DCHA/FPP
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWBG PTER ASEC PHUM CASC KPAL IS GZ
SUBJECT: THE SITUATION ON THE GROUND MARCH 30, 2004 --
(1400 HOURS LOCAL) -- TWO PALESTINIANS INJURED IN THE WEST
BANK AND TWO IN RAFAH MARCH 29
THIS IS A JOINT MESSAGE FROM EMBASSY TEL AVIV AND CONGEN
JERUSALEM.
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SUMMARY
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1. (SBU) Summary: IDF soldiers shot and injured two
Palestinian suspects in al-Fuwwar village, and eight
Palestinians were arrested by the IDF throughout the West
Bank March 29. Settlers in Hebron uprooted part of a
Palestinian vineyard and placed three caravans on the site,
according to press reports. In Gaza, two Palestinians were
injured in separate shooting incidents near Rafah March 29.
Also on March 29, the IDF demolished one house in the Salaam
area of Rafah, from which it was believed that militants had
fired on IDF soldiers in the past. Marches to commemorate
Land Day were held in Ramallah and Gaza City, but were
smaller than expected in Gaza. End Summary.
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West Bank
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2. (SBU) ATTACKS:
-- Death: Nil.
-- Injury: IDF soldiers shot and injured two Palestinian
suspects in a confrontation in al-Fuwwar village March 29.
-- Shooting: Palestinians shot at Israeli buses in the
northern West Bank in two separate attacks March 29. No one
was injured.
3. (SBU) ARRESTS:
-- The IDF arrested eight Palestinians throughout the West
Bank March 29.
-- One Palestinian minor was arrested March 29 at the Temple
Mount for attempting to stab a policeman.
4. (SBU) SETTLEMENT EXPANSION/EVACUATION:
-- Settlers in Hebron uprooted part of a Palestinian vineyard
and placed three caravans on the site, according to press
reports.
5. (SBU) CURFEWS/CLOSURES:
-- Closure was tightened around Nablus March 29, according to
Palestinian sources.
6. (SBU) SEPARATION BARRIER:
-- Israeli workers continued to place a temporary concrete
barricade on the main road through Al Ram, north of
Jerusalem, along the route of the separation barrier.
7. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS:
-- Hamas held a demonstration with about 10,000 people in
Jenin March 29.
-- Marches were held in Ramallah March 30, Land Day, which is
an annual day of protests against Israeli land confiscation
policies.
-- Israeli security forces used tear gas to break up a
pro-Yasin demonstration west of Ramallah March 29.
----
GAZA
----
8. (SBU) ATTACKS:
-- Deaths: Nil.
-- Injury: One Palestinian was shot and injured March 29 near
Tel al-Sultan, when IDF soldiers in Slaw settlement opened
fire, according to UNRWA.
-- Injury: One Palestinian in the Rafah re-Housing Project
was injured March 29, when shrapnel from an exchange of fire
in Tel al-Sultan hit him in the shoulder.
-- Mortars/Rockets/Hand Grenades: The IDF reported that one
mortar was fired at an IDF outpost near Neve Dekalim March 29.
-- Shootings: The IDF reported three shooting attacks March
29; one near Khan Yunis, one south of Rafah, and one near
Netzarim. UNRWA reported a total of two shooting incidents
near Rafah March 29 (see "Injuries").
-- Explosions: An explosion in Gaza City March 30, reported
in the Israeli media, was in actuality IAF F-16's breaking
the sound barrier, according to UNRWA.
9. (SBU) INCURSIONS/DEMOLITIONS:
-- UNRWA reported that the IDF entered the Salaam area of the
Rafah refugee camp march 29 and demolished one house. It was
believed that militants had previously fired on IDF troops
from that location.
10. (SBU) BORDER CROSSINGS/CHECKPOINTS:
-- Route Four (Salahadeen Road), the main north-south traffic
artery, was open for Palestinians.
-- Erez Crossing was closed for Palestinian laborers March
30, but open for merchants and ministerial-level PA officials
(with prior coordination with COGAT). UNRWA reported that
168 merchants entered Israel March 30. Diplomats in vehicles
and internationals on foot were allowed to cross on March 30,
although UN agencies are refusing to allow staff members to
cross unless they are in vehicles. The Erez Industrial Zone
was open March 30, and 3,580 laborers entered.
-- Sufa Crossing was closed for Palestinian laborers March
30, but open for the import into Gaza of aggregates used in
construction.
-- Karni Terminal was partially for the import and export of
goods into the Gaza Strip March 30. Unpacked goods may
enter, but no Palestinian containers may enter of exit.
-- Rafah Terminal was open for Palestinian travelers March 30.
-- Tel al-Sultan checkpoint was closed for residents of
al-Mowassi March 30. Toufah checkpoint was open for women,
children under 12 years old, and males over 35 years old.
11. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS
-- Although PA and militant groups called for demonstrations
March 30 in Gaza City in honor of the 28th anniversary of
Land Day, UNRWA reported that turnout was smaller than
expected, with approximately 2,000 marchers participating.
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