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06TELAVIV2224 2006-06-09 11:51:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tel Aviv
Cable title:  

MOD'S AMOS GILAD ON ABBAS AND EGYPT

Tags:   PREL PINS PINR KWBG KPAL PGOV IS EG GOI EXTERNAL ISRAELI PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS 
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1. (C) Israeli MOD Political-Military Bureau Chief Amos
Gilad told A/S Welch and the Ambassador June 6 that Israel
could help PA President Mahmud Abbas the most by staying
quiet. Welch stressed the importance of supporting President
Abbas and working to help the Palestinian people avoid a
humanitarian crisis. Gilad said that, during his recent trip
to Egypt, GOE officials expressed concern over increased U.S.
pressure to rapidly democratize the region, but also said
that Egypt wants to do whatever is necessary to ensure
stability in the region, including limiting the transfer of
money to Hamas. Gilad also observed that Egyptian officials
appeared nervous about a nuclear Iran and he said they will
not tolerate it. DefMin military advisor, MGEN Eitan
Dangott, also attended the meeting and explained the
circumstances surrounding the June 2 shooting at the
Israel-Egypt border in which two Egyptian police officers
were killed. END SUMMARY



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GILAD ON SUPPORTING ABBAS AND HELPING THE PALESTINIANS


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2. (C) A/S Welch asked Gilad what the GOI could do to
support President Abbas. Gilad mentioned the possibility of
providing rifles and ammunition. He claimed that the GOI has
maintained quiet on the Gaza and West Bank borders and has
not overreacted to reports of terrorist activity. (Note: He
did not refer to the continuing targeted assassinations and
military operations in such places as Ramallah, Nablus, and
northern Gaza.) He also said that the GOI has worked to
prevent money from reaching Hamas. He explained that it
would not be helpful for the GOI to openly support Abbas, and
that creative ideas about how to assist the Palestinians
should come from the Arab world and not Israel.



3. (C) In response to A/S Welch,s suggestion that Israel
release frozen PA funds to Abbas for specific purposes, such
as keeping the Karni crossing open, Gilad replied that Israel
must remain very cautious about how openly they assist Abbas.
Gilad added that Israel could help the most by staying quiet.



4. (C) With regard to the general state of the PA, Gilad said
that while Hamas is more organized in Gaza, Fatah is more
organized in the West Bank. He predicted that Abbas,s idea
of a referendum will inflame the situation in Gaza even
further because Hamas is not succeeding in government and
appears terrified of the idea of a referendum.



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GILAD: EGYPT CONCERNED ABOUT REGIONAL STABILITY


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5. (C) Gilad reported that on his recent trip to Egypt, GOE
officials expressed concern over increased U.S. pressure to
rapidly democratize the region. Gilad said that Egypt fears
that this pressure threatens its stability and that a policy
that encourages development and economic growth would be
better. He added that he understands this concern because
"stability is more important than anything."



6. (C) Gilad said that Egyptian officials told him that they
want to do whatever is necessary to ensure stability in the
region, including limiting the transfer of money to Hamas.
The GOE officials also reaffirmed their interest in causing
Hamas to fail and their willingness to train the PA
Presidential Guard. Gilad estimated that only 700 members of
the Presidential Guard -- 500 in the West Bank and 200 in
Gaza -- are operational, although another 1,000 are on the
books. He said that the GOE wants to take part in training
these soldiers in order to strengthen President Abbas. He
added that Egypt is ready to upgrade its presence at the
Rafah crossing.



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GILAD: EGYPT WILL NOT TOLERATE A NUCLEAR IRAN


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7. (C) Gilad observed that his Egyptian contacts appeared
nervous about a nuclear Iran, adding they will not tolerate
it. In response to a nuclear Iran, he predicted Egypt would
take a drastic step, such as pursuing its own nuclear program.



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GOI INVESTIGATES SHOOTING AT ISRAEL-EGYPT BORDER


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8. (SBU) MGEN Dangott said that both Israel and Egypt are
investigating the border clash between IDF troops and
Egyptian police officers that left two of the Egyptian police
officers dead. Dangott explained that at approximately 0700
hours on Friday, June 2, three Egyptian police officers fired
on a small IDF unit conducting surveillance along the
Israel-Egypt border. The IDF unit retreated and returned
fire, killing two of the police officers. When it was
discovered that the men were Egyptian police officers, the
IDF immediately contacted GOE officials. Dangott said that
forensic evidence showed that the police officers were 50
meters inside Israeli territory when killed. The fact of
their presence inside Israel quelled initial Egyptian
suspicions of Israeli hanky panky and helped manage the
issue. GOI investigators plan to meet with their Egyptian
counterparts in a few weeks to review their findings.

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