|03THEHAGUE1548||2003-06-17 04:59:00||SECRET||Embassy The Hague|
1. (S) Dutch officials told us 6/16 that at the EU Foreign
Ministers Meeting, Dutch FM de Hoop Scheffer plans to stress
the need for the EU to take urgent action against Hamas
(including clearinghouse designation), to urge that the EU
exert influence on Middle East leaders to stop funding for
Hamas, and to urge the Palestinian Authority devote more
attention and resources to humanitarian shortfalls that might
occur if the flow of funds to Hamas were stopped or slowed.
Dutch officials hope that the outcome will be a European
Council political declaration calling for the dismantling of
the "terrorist networks of Hamas." Dutch Prime Minister
Balkenende has indicated he is prepared to raise the issue
before the Council.
2. (S) The officials were not optimistic that the EU would
be able to formally designate all ref b entities by June 25.
If no EU member objects to the Dutch proposal, Al Aqsa
Foundation could be designated on June 23 (note: the Dutch do
not believe there is a clearinghouse meeting June 23 but
indicate this is the expiration date for completion of the
"silence procedure" concerning Al Aqsa Foundation. end note)
Because designation of Hamas has already been formally
proposed, Hamas could be added to the EU designation list if
remaining reserves are lifted. The Dutch believe that the
French position will be the primary determinant of whether
existing reserves are lifted. However, procedural issues
will likely (according to the Dutch) prevent the other ref b
individuals and entities from being quickly designated. Even
with a political impulse from the EU Council, for the
entities to be designated, a member state would have to
propose clearinghouse designation, an evidenciary file
(preferably a judicial file) submitted, and sufficient time
given to all the member states to study the evidence. If EU
consideration goes smoothly, the Dutch believe EU designation
is unlikely to take place before August. If consideration is
favorable but not entirely smooth, designation might not take
place before the Fall.
3. (S) In order to facilitate EU designation, the Dutch will
work to get language into the EU Council declaration
directing EU bodies to act as quickly as possible in taking
action against Hamas. They will work to ensure the language
specifically calls for taking action against the finances of
Hamas, its leaders, and those that raise funds for it.
4. (S) The Dutch are also considering urging stricter
control over all funds going into the areas controled by the
Palestinian authority, including wire transfers.