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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06JERUSALEM801
2006-02-24 15:36:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Consulate Jerusalem
Cable title:  

SALAM FAYYAD ON HAMAS

Tags:   PREL  EFIN  KPAL  KWBG  PGOV 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJM #0801/01 0551536
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 241536Z FEB 06
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0560
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L JERUSALEM 000801 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

OPS CENTER: PLEASE PASS TO SECRETARY'S PARTY.
NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE AND IPA; NSC FOR ABRAMS/DORAN/MUSTAFA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/24/2016
TAGS: PREL EFIN KPAL KWBG PGOV
SUBJECT: SALAM FAYYAD ON HAMAS


Classified By: Consul General Jake Walles. Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d)

-------
Summary
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C O N F I D E N T I A L JERUSALEM 000801

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

OPS CENTER: PLEASE PASS TO SECRETARY'S PARTY.
NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE AND IPA; NSC FOR ABRAMS/DORAN/MUSTAFA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/24/2016
TAGS: PREL EFIN KPAL KWBG PGOV
SUBJECT: SALAM FAYYAD ON HAMAS


Classified By: Consul General Jake Walles. Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d)

--------------
Summary
--------------


1. (C) In meetings with NEA DAS Dibble and Consul General on
February 22, Third Way party leader Salam Fayyad discussed
Hamas' plans and the challenges they would face once in
power. Consul General and DAS Dibble emphasized the need for
other parties to stay out of government so that Hamas would
be forced to deal with the consequences of its own policies.
Fayyad subsequently briefed Consul General on February 23 of
his conversations with Hamas, reporting that he advised Hamas
to comply with the political and security requirements set
out by President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and that he
expressed concerns about Hamas' social plans. The Hamas
delegation questioned Fayyad about the PA's financial
situation; Fayyad said he believes Hamas understands it faces
a financial problem, but does not yet recognize its full
extent. Hamas asked Fayyad if he would be willing to join
their government; Fayyad said he did not answer them
directly, but told Consul General he has no intention of
doing so. Fayyad said he looked forward to Hamas actually
having to govern, which he thinks will change the image Hamas
enjoys in Palestinian public estimation; he also thought
Hamas would focus on keeping the security situation quiet.

--------------
Consultations with Hamas
--------------


2. (C) New Palestinian legislator and former PA Finance
Minister Salam Fayyad told DAS Dibble and Consul General
February 22 that he would be consulting February 23 with
Hamas, though he wryly noted that he had no plans to join
them and they knew it. His was the last group to whom they
planned to talk. Fayyad said he believed the sooner a
government was formed, the better. Fayyad noted that Hamas
is eager to have Fatah join them and that some individuals in

Fatah would take them up on that offer. Fayyad said that he
would like to see Hamas alone in the government so that no
one else would be blamed for its failures. Both DAS Dibble
and the Consul General stressed that they had been telling
their interlocutors that no one outside of Hamas should join
them because that would only provide them with political
cover. The standards had been set by the international
community, and complying with those standards was up to Hamas.


3. (C) Fayyad subsequently met with Mahmoud Zahar and other
Hamas leaders in Gaza on February 23, and provided a readout
later that evening to the Consul General. According to
Fayyad, Zahar emphasized that the next government will be
under Hamas control, regardless of who else joins. Fayyad
urged Hamas to work out an agreed political and security
program with Abu Mazen in order to have any hope of success
in running the PA. Fayyad also told Hamas that his "Third
Way" party has social and other concerns about a Hamas
government, but emphasized that developing a political and
security program takes precedence. Fayyad reported that Hamas
insists it will not give up the right to resistance; he told
them he did not dispute this right, but pointed out that
Hamas needs to think about what resistance has done for the
Palestinian people in the last five years (i.e., that the
Israeli reaction has seriously damaged Palestinian
interests).


4. (C) Fayyad said the Hamas delegation asked him several
questions about the PA financial situation; his impression is
that they understand there is a serious problem, but that
they don't recognize its full extent. He said that Hamas
asked him if he was willing to join a Hamas government; he
said he did not answer them directly (Comment: this has led
to press speculation that he might join the government.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri is quoted as saying "Hamas has
invited Fayyad to join the new cabinet, and he said he will
seriously consider the offer." End comment). However,
Fayyad told Consul General again that he has no plans to join
the Hamas-led government.

--------------
Views on Hamas' Ability
--------------


5. (C) Fayyad noted in his February 22 meeting with Consul
General and DAS Dibble that Prime Minister-designate Haniyya
had virtually no relevant professional experience. While
Haniyya's government would benefit from comparisons with the
poor performance of the government that preceded it, Fayyad

looked forward to a Hamas government having to implement
decisions that may not please everyone. He said that Hamas
needed to govern in order for Hamas to be "demystified" in
the eyes of the Palestinian electorate, otherwise, Hamas
would always be viewed as the "saviors, philosophers, and
wise men." Fayyad urged the USG to cease the "constant
bashing" of Hamas because that only served to elevate them.
He noted that every time the U.S. President said the word
"Hamas," that raised their profile.


6. (C) Fayyad lamented that the current circumstances give
the Israeli government a "clear shot at finishing us off."
He said that Hamas would need a number of years to moderate
sufficiently. In the meantime, power in a Hamas-led
Palestinian Authority would shift to a quasi-autonomous Gaza,
a development that would allow Israel to do whatever it
wanted in the West Bank.


7. (C) Fayyad observed there were some positives to a
Hamas-led government. He hoped that their focus would be on
security and maintaining a period of quiet since that is "the
only card they have." He noted that their political posture
is not as "taxing" as it first appeared, given their
preference for a long-term truce in exchange for the end of
occupation. Fayyad noted that Prime Minister Sharon had
spoken of a long-term solution after the barrier was
completed. Fayyad said that public expectations of Hamas are
low, unlike the situation when Abbas was elected President.

WALLES