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05TELAVIV1335 2005-03-07 15:19:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tel Aviv
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					C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 001335 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/04/2015

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

This message was cordinated with ConGen Jerusalem.

1. (C) SUMMARY: Track II activists Boaz Karni and Dov Sedaka
recounted to the Ambassador March 2 claims by recent PA
National Security Advisor Jibril Rajoub of his own pivotal
role and organizational successes within the Palestinian
government and security operations. Karni said that in a
lengthy meeting with Rajoub the previous day, Rajoub had
detailed what he claimed were his successful efforts to
prevent -- "almost alone" -- the establishment of Abu Ala'a's
first proposed government. END SUMMARY.

2. (C) Track II activists Boaz Karni and Dov Sedaka, both
associated with the Economic Cooperation Foundation, briefed
the Ambassador March 2 on recent discussions, including a
lengthy meeting the day before, with former PA National
Security Advisor Jibril Rajoub. The three have worked
together on various Track II activities in the past few
years, including work on the recent Baker Institute paper on
next steps in the peace process. According to Karni and
Sedaka, Rajoub told the two that he would be occupying a
pivotal role within the Palestinian government and security
operations. Rajoub had described at some length what he
claimed were his successful efforts -- "almost alone" -- to
prevent the establishment of Abu Ala'a's first proposed
government and influence the composition of the eventualy
approved government.

3. (C) Rajoub also predicted that he would continue as
national security advisor, occupying a new office very close
to that of President Abu Mazen, and serve as the "key
contact" on security issues, all points that he claimed
President Abu Mazen told General Ward during their February
meeting. As for newly appointed Interior Minister MG Nasser
Yusif, Rajoub reportedly said that Yusif's new responsibility
is "too high for him (Yusif)." As such, Rajoub also told
Karni, he (Rajoub) wants to establish contact with "the
Americans." (Note: In a subsequent conversation, Karni told
POL/C that Rajoub and Mohammed Dahlan are also worried that
Yusif "does not understand the Israelis," and that they are
"not sure he can handle meetings with the Israelis." They
reportedly suggested that since Dahlan has removed himself
from the security portfolio, Rajoub should find a way to
accompany Yusif to any meetings with Israeli officials.) The
Ambassador said he had no indication that Abu Mazen had
advised Ward of either Rajoub's alleged appointment as
national security advisor, or Rajoub's claimed primacy on
security issues. Karni said Rajoub also claimed to be in
dialogue with the Shin Bet.

4. (C) According to Karni, Rajoub also claimed to be the
head of a new, super-empowered committee to conduct
negotiations with the Israelis. Rajoub claimed that this
body, which he dubbed "the real team," would include Abu
Mazen, Abu Ala'a, Mohammed Dahlan, Nasser Yusif, Saeb Erekat,
Akram Haniya, and Nabil Shaath, and possibly Nasser Al Qidwa
and Hassan Asfour. Rajoub claimed to be "very proud" of his
accomplishments to date, and according to Karni, said he
wants to topple Abu Ala'a within three months.

5. (C) Rajoub also claimed to be working across borders and
factions. He reportedly told Karni that now is the time to
bring into a national dialogue all factions, because the
Syrians are trouble. To that end, Rajoub said he would
travel to Damascus March 6 and 7 to tell the Syrians to stop
backing terrorist activities, and he claimed that he would be
carrying the same message to Tehran in the near future.
(Note: Karni told POL/C March 7 that Rajoub had postponed his
Damascus trip for an indefinite period.) In an apparent
contradiction, Rajoub also reportedly said that he was, in
fact, postponing the national dialogue while engaging in
preparations for the Arab summit in Cairo. Rajoub's aims
there, he said, are to: gain support for the Palestinian
"struggle," gain support for the new president and elected
government, secure support for a return to the roadmap, and
gain support for a renewed Arab initiative concerning

6. (C) Karni said that Rajoub seemed to have "quite a lot of
information" on the February 5 terrorist bombing in downtown
Tel Aviv, and claimed that Ziad Nakhleh, allegedly the deputy
chief of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Damascus, knew nothing
about the attack. Karni said that Rajoub claimed, both in
their meeting and on television, that the attack was
conducted independently, with no outside intervention, and
that there had been total agreement within the Gaza Strip PIJ
leadership to suspend attacks. Rajoub reportedly expressed
sorrow at the deaths and injuries caused by the attack, but
noted that the incident was the first in which the GOI gave
the PA an opportunity to condemn an attack. Karni said that
Jibril also cited what he claimed is a loss of stature by
Hamas as a result of Syria's current weakness.

7. (C) Offering his own assessment, Karni said that if
Rajoub and Dahlan, the original chiefs of the Preventive
Security Organization branches in the West Bank and Gaza
Strip, respectively, can cooperate, they would be "the best
team on security." (Note: During their respective tours as
PSO chiefs, and since, Dahlan and Rajoub have been fierce
competitors for power, including that arising from proximity
to the late PA President Arafat, and for international
connections and prestige. End Note).

8. (C) The Ambassador pointed out to Karni and Sedaka that
the international community has two imperatives that
sometimes conflict. The first is to make the Palestinian
Authority act effectively against terror, and the second is
to give Palestinian democratic institutions the chance to
grow. Abu Mazen's designation of Nasser Yusif as Interior
Minister is a demonstration of proper civilian control of
security forces, he said, and it is hard to believe that Abu
Mazen told General Ward to speak to Rajoub on security
issues. If Abu Mazen determines that Rajoub is to
participate on the Palestinian side in security talks, then
the USG will deal with him, otherwise, the USG will deal with
the designated security apparatus.

9. (C) The Ambassador stressed that the key issue is getting
talks to resume sooner rather than later. He noted reports
that Israel is ready to transfer to the PA security
responsibility for Jericho and Tulkarm, and that the issues
remaining on the table seem resolvable. Sedaka, an IDF
reserve brigadier general with long experience in the
Occupied Territories, responded that the GOI is being "too
tough" on security points associated with the transfers and
that an agreement already exists to guide the transfer. The
Ambassador noted that the sides need to sit down and
negotiate the points, he said.

10. (C) Karni and Sadaka noted their observation that the
IDF in the West Bank has gotten tougher since the appointment
of MG Yair Naveh as head of the Central Command. They noted
that previous Central Commander MG Moshe Kaplinski had
instructed his troops to refrain from any entry into Area A
and from almost any entry into Area B. Naveh immediately
reversed that order, and IDF troops have been conducting
numerous operations within those areas ever since.

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