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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05TELAVIV1173
2005-02-28 13:21:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Tel Aviv
Cable title:  

(C) ISRAELI POLITICAL-MILITARY BRIEFING ON

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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 001173 

SIPDIS

LONDON PLEASE PASS TO THE SECRETARY'S PARTY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/28/2010
TAGS: IS KPAL PREL PTER COUNTERTERRORISM ISRAELI PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS
SUBJECT: (C) ISRAELI POLITICAL-MILITARY BRIEFING ON
FEBRUARY 25 TERRORIST ATTACK

Classified By: Ambassador Daniel C. Kurtzer for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 001173

SIPDIS

LONDON PLEASE PASS TO THE SECRETARY'S PARTY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/28/2010
TAGS: IS KPAL PREL PTER COUNTERTERRORISM ISRAELI PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS
SUBJECT: (C) ISRAELI POLITICAL-MILITARY BRIEFING ON
FEBRUARY 25 TERRORIST ATTACK

Classified By: Ambassador Daniel C. Kurtzer for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)


1. (C) Ambassadors from countries on the UN Security Council
and of European Union were summoned to the Foreign Ministry
February 28 for a political-military briefing on the February
25 terrorist attack in Tel Aviv that killed 5 Israelis and
wounded more than 50. MFA Director General Ron Prosor and
Director of Military Intelligence BG Yossi Kuperwasser
briefed.


2. (C) Prosor said the terrorist attack revealed a number of
major dilemmas for the Palestinian Authority, Israel and the
international community. He said Israel supports Palestinian
Authority efforts but not its strategy of co-optation which
results in bringing into the PA elements bent on the PA's
destruction. "Spoilers" both within and without Palestinian
society are undermining the chances of President Mahmoud
Abbas to succeed. While international support for the
Palestinian Authority is positive, many international players
appear willing to allow the PA to proceed without dismantling
terrorist infrastructure. There is not enough pressure from
the international community on Hizballah or on the state
supporters of terrorism, in particularly Syria and Iran.
Israel has undertaken a number of good-will measures -- such
as releasing prisoners and stopping house demolitions -- but
even this has not persuaded the PA to combat terrorism.
Prosor said that time is of essence; the PA faces legislative
elections on July 17, and Israeli evacuation of Gaza
settlements will begin on July 22. He thus called on the
international community to do its part in putting pressure on
outside elements to stop terrorism and in persuading the PA
to dismantle terrorist infrastructure.


3. (C) Kuperwasser said that, although the period of
"tahidiya" or calm started on January 21, Palestinian Islamic
Jihad and several other groups continued their preparations
for terrorism. There were 13 PIJ attacks against Israelis
before the Friday night suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. He said

local PIJ commanders repeatedly asked for guidance from their
leadership in Damascus on how to proceed. Understanding that
the PA was taking no action to enforce the "tahidiya," the
PIJ leadership communicated to its cadres that they needed to
"keep working." Specifically, the most active PIJ cells,
located in Jenin and Tulkarm, sought and received clearance
to continue to operate as well as a promise of money.
Kuperwasser said the Friday night terrorist attack had been
in preparation since early February. The suicide belt was
completed a week before the attack and the suicide video was
prepared several days later. The PIJ cells in Tulkarm and
Jenin informed the leadership of the attack immediately after
it took place and were promised even more money, given the
success registered in Tel Aviv. Kuperwasser said that there
is another PIJ terrorist attack in preparation which appears
to be focused on Israelis inside the occupied territories,
given PIJ's belief that the Palestinian population would not
support another attack inside Israel.


4. (C) Kuperwasser said the PIJ office in Damascus operates
24 hours a day, every day, despite Syrian denials. Four PIJ
leaders operate out of Damascus, most notably, Ramadan
Shalah, Ziad Nakaleh (who told Reuters that PIJ was
responsible for the Friday night attack), and two other
operational experts. The Damascus office provides money,
establishes policy regarding attacks against Israel, delivers
new technologies, and oversees training in bases within Syria.


5. (C) Kuperwasser described the explosives and the make up
of the suicide belt from the Friday night attack as identical
to those used in the October 2003 terrorist attack at the
Maxim Restaurant in Haifa and the foiled attempt to attack a
school in Yoqneam, both of which were PIJ terrorist attacks.
Kuperwasser continued that Israel has also traced $250,000
from Iran to PIJ operatives in the territories since the
beginning of the year. The PIJ leadership remains in close
contact with Syrian intelligence which never interferes in
PIJ activities. Kuperwasser said Hizballah was not involved
in the Friday night attack, but there are 50 Hizballah-funded
cells in the West Bank and Gaza planning to carry out
attacks.


6. (C) Kuperwasser concluded that the Palestinian Authority,
although frustrated by the terrorist attack, has done little
to deal with it, while trying to create the impression of
action. The PA has tried to assign responsibility for the
attack to Hizballah, which is not the case. The PA statement
of condemnation did not condemn terrorism but rather "the
operation." The PA made some arrests but none of those
arrested were from a list of 18 people passed to the PA by
Israel as suspects in the terrorism. Finally, Al Quds
newspaper continued the practice of hailing the "martyr" on
the front page of its weekend edition.


7. (C) Comment: This briefing, clearly designed to stimulate
diplomatic action at the United Nations, against Hizballah
and vis-a-vis the PA, was somewhat more definitive on the PIJ
headquarters connection than other briefings we received this
weekend. Nonetheless, a relatively clear picture has been
painted of on-going PIJ terror activities in the terrorities,
stimulated and funded from PIJ headquarters in Damascus and
at least tolerated by the Syrian government.
********************************************* ********************
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv

You can also access this site through the State Department's
Classified SIPRNET website.
********************************************* ********************
KURTZER