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04TELAVIV2360 2004-04-23 14:48:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tel Aviv
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					C O N F I D E N T I A L TEL AVIV 002360 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/11/2013

Classified By: Ambassador Daniel C. Kurtzer for Reasons 1.4 (B) and (D)

1. (C) EU Special Envoy Marc Otte told Ambassador Kurtzer
April 23 that European officials are beginning efforts to
identify steps that will allow the Palestinians to succeed
following an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. He agreed that
the international community can identify appropriate roles
and work up a terrific plan, but the effort needs a committed
Palestinian partner. Beyond that, the community needs to be
able to call on PM Sharon to remove identified roadblocks to
its efforts on economic and security enhancement, the two
inseparable pillars on which Gaza's success depends. Otte
said he had told PA PM Abu Ala'a that the Palestinians have
international sympathy, but that sympathy is limited by the
impact of attacks in Madrid and elsewhere. In addition, the
PA needs to identify one empowered interlocutor, not five.
Abu Ala'a, and, separately, Saeb Erekat and Salam Fayyad, all
agreed that a strategy with a positive agenda is necessary to
make Gaza succeed after withdrawal, he said.

2. (C) In general discussion of internationals' roles,
Ambassador Kurtzer gently noted Israel's firm opposition to
any role for internationals on security -- what he termed
"almost a showstoppper for Israel." Otte noted the "real
problems" with the Palestinian security services at this
time, and suggested that the Palestinians will need to be
persuaded that this is what they want to do. In the coming
months, he said, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee can develop a
"bag of goodies to make it work." Asked about possible roles
for Egypt, Ambassador Kurtzer said he thought the Israelis'
idea of any Egyptian role is inflated. He also noted that
some initial thought had been given to a role for the
Multinational Force and Observers, but the idea needed
considerable fleshing out.

3. (C) Ambassador Kurtzer pointed out that Israel's
commitments to the President, as outlined in the Weissglas
letter to NSA Rice, will not go away, and form a key part of
the overall package. With that, he saw no reason not to
share as much information as possible between the Europeans
and the USG on monitoring, as the sides did during last
summer's Roadmap monitoring mission. He acknowledged that
the prohibition on travel of USG personnel to Gaza leaves the
Embassy dependent on long distance contacts and information
from others.

4. (C) Otte said he would be seeking Palestinian assurances
that PA security forces would seek to prevent Gazan actions
that would trigger IDF reprisals, and Israeli assurances that
IDf actions would not target international projects. He
offered as one possiblity for mitigating such incidents the
establishment of a joint situation room manned by Israelis,
Palestinians and internationals.

5. (C) Otte noted that the UNRWA emergency appeal has
secured only about half of its stated need because of donor
reallocations to Iraq. Beyond aid, though, he said that
trade, access, job creation and standard of living had to be
improved to the extent that Gazans wold be able to say "life
is not so bad here." The Ambassador noted that at the time
of Oslo, the sides hoped that expatriate Palestinian
businessmen would invest in Gaza, but they never got the
necessary cooperation from the Palestinian leadership.
Nonetheless, he added, Gaza and the West Bank have a capable
business communities.

6. (C) On the political scene, Otte and the Ambassador
agreed that Abu Ala'a must be pressed to act like a real
prime minister, and, if he does, the international community
can support him. On the Israeli side, the picture should be
clearer by the end of June, by which time it will be clear
whether the current coalition of another constellation will
be in place. After that, Israel will need three to six
months to pass necessary legislation to facilitate the
withdrawal. The international community should use that time
to plan its own moves. One key, Otte said, is "convince
Israel that we really want this to work.

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