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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05TELAVIV2010 2005-04-01 12:52:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tel Aviv
Cable title:  

GILAD TO CODEL PLATTS: THE SECRETARY'S MESSAGE

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 002010 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/29/2015
TAGS: PREL KWBG OREP PGOV IS SETTLEMENTS ISRAELI PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS ISRAEL RELATIONS
SUBJECT: GILAD TO CODEL PLATTS: THE SECRETARY'S MESSAGE
ABOUT MA'ALE ADUMIM IS LOUD AND CLEAR


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

-------
SUMMARY
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1. (C) Amos Gilad, director of the Political-Security Bureau
at the Defense Ministry, told Codel Platts that Secretary
Rice's recent statement on expanding settlements is "clear,"
and he is sure the "policy will be implemented in the most
efficient way." Gilad had praise for PA President Abbas, but
charged that Prime Minister Quraya' is constantly undermining
Abbas. Gilad related the GOI's suspicion that the October
2003 Gaza bombing that killed 3 Embassy Amcit security guards
was carried out by "elements of Fatah," but said the GOI has
"no smoking gun." He expressed concern about an unspecified
U.S. arms sale to Eygpt, and the possibility that democratic
reform in Egypt could lead to an Islamic state. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) In a March 27 meeting in Tel Aviv, MOD
Political-Security Director Amos Gilad briefed
Representatives Todd Platts, Stephen Lynch and Marsha
Blackburn (Codel Platts), and the Ambassador on GOI views of
political conditions in the Middle East, and on
Israeli-Palestinian relations. Gilad's staff member,
Danishai Kornbluth, joined the meeting, as did MFA
representative Eyal Sela, conoff, and military escorts from
the Codel.



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Worried about Democracy, Eygpt


--------------------------





3. (C) Gilad commented that elections would take place in
every state in the region this year, and that he could
already sense change in Iraq after a "relatively successful"
election. He said he was not as confident about Egypt. The
spread of democracy can be good, he said, but it could open
the door for an Islamic state in Egypt, as in Iran. Gilad
subsequently expressed Israel's concern about the U.S.
transfer of an unspecified weapons system to Egypt: "Mubarak
is dedicated to peace... but the army can be problematic."



--------------------------


Syria and Lebanon


--------------------------





4. (C) Gilad said that Syria has the capability to deal with
terror, but chooses instead to support it by allowing
terrorist organizations to work within, and to transit, its
territory. He expressed skepticism about Syria's intent to
withdraw from Lebanon, predicting that Syria would "leave
Lebanon without leaving." Gilad said he believes Syria was
responsible for "the recent bombing" in Lebanon. (COMMENT:
Gilad was unclear to which "bombing" he was referring. END
COMMENT.)



5. (C) Gilad described southern Lebanon as basically an
independent state, which he called "Hizbollistan," with a
talented leader (an apparent reference to Nasrallah). He
decried Hizbollah support for terror in Israel and cited the
example of an IDF officer that Hizbollah recruited to kidnap
a high GOI official. He called for political and
international pressure on Syria and Hizbollah.



--------------------------


Palestinian Authority


--------------------------





6. (C) Gilad praised PA President Abbas for his sincere
belief that the use of violence has harmed Palestinian
interests. While expressing concern that Abbas, in his view,
is more an analyst than a leader, Gilad said that Abbas
enjoys the support of 70 percent of Palestinians and has
changed the Palestinian popular mood. Before Abbas came to
power, he said, terrorist organizations would compete over
claiming credit for terrorist acts; now, however, the groups
try to find out whom to blame for the attacks.



7. (C) Gilad said Abbas faces three major challenges: the
municipal, PLC, and Fatah elections due to take place close
to or during disengagement; the struggle to create a unified
security organization to cope with terror; and PA Prime
Minister Quraya's "hatred" of Abbas. Gilad stressed that the
Palestinians need more than one leader, as under Arafat, but
that their leaders must work together, a goal that he said
Quraya' is undermining. Compounding Abbas' difficulties, he
said, are efforts by Iran and Hezbollah to undercut chances
for the roadmap to succeed.



8. (C) Stressing that the United States and Congress support
Israel, Rep. Platts asked Gilad if he thought Palestinian
security forces would be ready for disengagement. Rep. Lynch
noted that Quraya' told the Codel that the PA security forces
are "outgunned by the terrorist organizations." Gilad called
Quraya's statement a "total lie." He said that the PA
security forces have sufficient power to deal with the
terrorist groups, but that Quraya' is undermining that power.
Quraya', he said, "needs to be fired" because he is
destructive and weakening Abbas. Gilad said he does not see
any reforms of the PA security forces occurring. He did,
however, credit General Ward for getting up to speed on the
issues very quickly.



9. (C) Rep. Blackburn asked if it is possible for Israel to
work with Abbas in ways that would strengthen him. Gilad
contended that Israel's efforts against terrorism help Abbas,
but noted that Israel must always be careful not to embrace
Abbas too strongly for fear of undermining him among his own
people. He indicated that the international community could
help Abbas as well by applying pressure on Syria and Iran.



--------------------------


Settlement Expansion


--------------------------





10. (C) Rep. Lynch commented that Quraya' expressed
displeasure with Israeli intentions to expand construction
around the Ma'ale Adumin settlement, a problem he said
Quraya' characterized as "backsliding." Gilad repeatedly
stated that Secretary Rice was "so clear" in her statement of
U.S. policy on the issue, that "everything is clear" and that
he is sure the "policy will be implemented in the most
efficient way."



--------------------------


Negotiations with Egypt


--------------------------





11. (C) Gilad briefly reviewed the negotiations he is leading
for the GOI with Egypt on the deployment of 750 Egyptian
border guards along the Egyptian border with Gaza. The goal
of the deployment, he said, is for the Egyptians to stop
smuggling through the Sinai. The GOI is effective against
smuggling elsewhere, he claimed, but not in the Sinai. He
said that seven anti-aircraft missiles were recently smuggled
into Gaza from Egypt. (Comment: Other reports received from
the GOI speak of five missiles. End comment.)



--------------------------


Embassy Convoy Bombing


--------------------------





12. (C) Rep. Lynch said he understood that Abbas has
expressed regret over the October 2003 bombing of a U.S.
embassy convoy in Gaza that killed three embassy Amcit
security guards. He told Gilad that the U.S. would
appreciate any information that Israel can share on the case.
Gilad assured the Representatives that any information
Israel receives would be shared with the U.S. He said the
GOI suspects elements of Fatah, but is not sure. He accused
Quraya' of doing nothing to discover those responsible.



--------------------------


Iran


--------------------------





13. (C) Gilad said that Iran could harm the entire region
through its support for terror, the Shiites in Iraq, and
Hezbollah. He predicted that Iran will increase its presence
in Lebanon as Syria withdraws. He said that action would be
required within three to four months to deter Iran's
development of nuclear weapons. Gilad predicted that the
June elections in Iran would see conservatives defeat the
last vestiges of moderation in Iran. He called for greater
international pressure on Iran.



14. (U) The Codel did not clear this message.

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