Cablegate: Settler Leader Says Outpost Removal Impossible
DE RUEHJM #2419 3251532
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 211532Z NOV 07
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9754
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY
"C O N F I D E N T I A L JERUSALEM 002419
NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE. NSC FOR ABRAMS/SINGH/WATERS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/20/2017
TAGS: KWBG PBTS PREL PHUM IS
SUBJECT: SETTLER LEADER SAYS OUTPOST REMOVAL IMPOSSIBLE
Classified By: Consul General Jake Walles, per reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C) SUMMARY: Following PM Olmert's November 19
announcement that he intends to evacuate ""illegal outposts,""
Yesha Council Chairman Dani Dayan told PolOff that this is
""technically impossible"" and will produce violent reactions
from settlers. Dayan said the Yesha previously thought the
GoI was threatening a freeze on settlement activity to
increase pressure for the Yesha to support outpost
evacuation, but now believes Olmert is considering both
issues in the context of Roadmap Phase One obligations and
the Annapolis meeting. END SUMMARY.
""Removal of Outposts Will Mean Removal of Olmert""
2. (C) Immediately after PM Olmert announced November 19
that ""illegal outposts"" will be removed, Yesha Council
Chairman Dani Dayan told PolOff that this is ""technically
impossible,"" and Yesha will use ""all its political leverage""
to bring down the Olmert government if it pursues this
policy. Dayan indicated that he believes Olmert's
announcement referred to 26 outposts and some 1,0000
settlers, although the GOI issued no confirmed public list of
outposts for removal. He noted that, before removing 7000
settlers from Gush Katif in Gaza in 2005, then-PM Sharon
prepared the IDF and the Israeli public for this development.
Dayan said Olmert has not conditioned the IDF or the public,
and any attempt to evacuate the outposts will ""inevitably
lead to violence."" Dayan suggested that the Yesha have not
decided whether or how to resist evacuation of outposts.
Asked directly, he said only ""we'll cross that bridge when we
come to it,"" noting that any settlers removed from outposts
will resettle elsewhere in the West Bank.
3. (C) Dayan said he believes a ""settlement freeze"" means
""no new building permits and no new tenders"" and is already
in effect, since no new building permits have been approved
in the past several months. The practical outcome of
continuing a freeze, he said, will be an end of large
construction projects in the large settlement blocs, but it
will be easy to continue construction in the smaller
settlements. He said he expects that with a ""freeze,""
planned projects for which permits are already issued in
large and small settlement blocs will continue. He said he
also anticipates that a freeze will put great pressure on
settler families having additional children and on newlyweds
seeking to live near parents.
A dismal outlook
4. (C) Dayan said the Yesha Council was wrong in believing
the GoI threat of a settlement freeze was in order to
pressure the Yesha to support the removal of outposts.
According to Dayan, only now, after meeting PM Olmert on this
issue, does Yesha understand that the GoI is considering
outpost removal and a settlement freeze in the context of GOI
obligations under Phase One of the Roadmap in advance of the
11/27 Annapolis meeting.
5. (C) Dayan said he believes PM Olmert knows ""less about
settlers than he does about Palestinians,"" and is merely
using the settlers as a bargaining chip in negotiations. He
urged the USG to focus its efforts in the negotiations on
humanitarian issues, such as access and movement, and to
deter permanent status issues for ""ten or fifteen years.""
Dayan said the time and conditions are not right for
negotiations, and Annapolis will be a ""one day photo op"" that
leads to intense violence, the fall of PM Olmert's
government, and a tarnished USG reputation.