wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06CAIRO1636 2006-03-15 14:37:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
Cable title:  

JERICHO PRISON CRISIS PROMPTS CANCELLATION OF

Tags:   PREL PGOV PTER ASEC KPAL EG IS 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

151437Z Mar 06
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 001636 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER ASEC KPAL EG IS
SUBJECT: JERICHO PRISON CRISIS PROMPTS CANCELLATION OF
SENIOR-LEVEL VISITS AND ACCUSATIONS OF US/UK COMPLICITY
OVER TIMING OF PRISON GUARDS' DEPARTURE


Classified by DCM Stuart Jones for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. (C) Summary. Local sources confirm that the Jericho
prison crisis in the West Bank has prompted the postponement
of an expected visit to Israel by Egyptian Intelligence
Minister Omar Soliman scheduled to begin March 15, as well as
the postponement of travel to Egypt by Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas, scheduled to take place March 18. The
Ambassador spoke with senior Egyptian sources March 14 to
exchange views and press for GOE efforts to contain reactions
to the incident. The Egyptians are communicating at senior
levels directly with Israeli and Palestinian counterparts,
urging restraint, while blaming the U.S. and the UK for
precipitating the crisis. The Ambassador also spoke with
Arab League Secretary General Moussa, cautioning him to avoid
public statements that might escalate tensions over the
issue. End summary.



2. (C) Via contacts with Egyptian Intelligence officials,
post learned that Omar Soliman postponed an expected March 15
trip to Israel. Likewise, we understand Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas will also delay a planned visit to
Egypt that was to have taken place on or around March 18.
Both officials are working to avoid further escalation of
violence and reduce the political fallout as a result of the
March 14 withdrawal of U.S. and UK personnel from the Jericho
prison. We understand that Soliman has been in direct
contact with Israeli Defense Minister Mofaz, as well as with
Palestinian Authority officials.



3. (C) The Ambassador also spoke March 14 with Egyptian FM
Aboul Gheit to gauge GOE views on the issue, and to counsel
restraint in official Egyptian pronouncements. Aboul Gheit
said that he had spoken with Israeli FM Livni to pass an oral
message from President Mubarak urging the GOI to resolve the
situation peacefully. Aboul Gheit conveyed that Mubarak was
pleased to know that the Secretary was also in touch with FM
Livni, PM Olmert, and Abu Mazen counseling a similar message.
Aboul Gheit also shared that Egypt was working with both the
PA and Hamas regarding reaction to the Jericho crisis, but
did not offer details on the Hamas contacts or message.



4. (C) In a separate March 14 conversation, Presidential
Senior Advisor and Spokesman Soliman Awad told the Ambassador
that Egypt ("and everyone in the region") sees that the USG
and UK sparked this crisis. While the GOE faulted the US and
UK for allowing the Israelis to move in, Egypt was also upset
by Hamas leader Haniya's public statements calling upon the
PA to release the prisoners. The Hamas position was directed
at scoring points vis-a-vis the PA. Regardless, he added,
whatever the Israelis do now with respect to the Jericho
prisoners, they "should not help Hamas at the PA's expense."



5. (C) The Ambassador also spoke with Amre Moussa March 14,
following press reports that the Arab League SYG had publicly
accused the US and UK of colluding with Israel to create the
crisis. Moussa shared that he had answered a question from a
CNN reporter "being careful not to name the US or UK," to the
effect that "this event raises the question of timing and
coordination with the Israelis." The Ambassador cautioned
Moussa regarding public remarks on this score, and urged him
to use any influence he might have with the Palestinians to
counsel restraint. Moussa denied that his remarks had
increased tensions.

RICCIARDONE