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Cablegate: "Positive but Incomplete" Israeli-Palestinian Security Coordination Meeting in Jenin

VZCZCXRO0220
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1498/01 2270759
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 140759Z AUG 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2501
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001498

SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE AND IPA, NSC FOR ABRAMS/PASCUAL/SINGH

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/14/2018
TAGS: KWBG PGOV IS PREL PINS
SUBJECT: "POSITIVE BUT INCOMPLETE" ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN SECURITY COORDINATION MEETING IN JENIN

REF: A. JERUSALEM 1488 B. JERUSALEM 1371 C. JERUSALEM 1340

Classified By: Consul General Jake Walles, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (S) Summary. PA security forces (PASF) commanders told PolOff and POL FSN August 11-12 that they had a positive meeting with IDF commanders in Jenin on August 11. PM Salam Fayyad told the Consul General August 11 that the meeting was "positive and important." National Security Forces (NSF) commander MG Thiab Mustafa Ali (Abu al-Fatah) told PolOff that the PA told IDF commanders that they will provide the IDF with a detailed report on PA actions against West Bank institutions identified by the IDF as having possible terrorist connections. He said PASF chiefs also gave the IDF commanders a list of requests to improve security coordination, handling of fugitives and the local economy. MG Ali and other PASF chiefs said the IDF officers agreed to consider the requests and provide answers next week. He commented that past meetings had not usually resulted in major improvements and criticized the IDF's repeated denials of PA requests to deploy additional forces in Hebron. End summary.

Senior IDF-PASF Officers Meet in Jenin
--------------------------------------

2. (C) PA security commanders told PolOff and POL FSN August 11-12 that they had a positive meeting with the IDF's West Bank leadership at the Muqata'a/NSF Headquarters in Jenin (inside Area A) August 11, in which IDF commanders praised PA security efforts and pledged increased coordination. Attending for the PA were NSF commander MG Thiab Ali (Abu al-Fatah), police chief MG Hazim Attallah, Preventive Security Organization (PSO) director Ziad Hab al-Rih, Deputy General Intelligence Chief Aql Sa'adi, Military Intelligence (Istikhbarat) chief Majid al-Farraj, Joint Security Committees (JCS) chief Samir Qaysi Makhzumi, Jenin Governor Qaddura Musa and Jenin NSF commander Sulayman Imran. Israeli representatives were BG Noam Tibon (IDF West Bank Division commander), BG Yoav Mordechai (West Bank COGAT chief), LtCol Fares Atila (Jenin/Jalamah DCO Director), and the IDF Jenin Brigade's commander and operations officer. PM Salam Fayyad told the Consul General August 11 that the PASF-IDF meeting was positive and the agreed venue inside Area A demonstrated IDF confidence in the PA. (Note: This was the first senior-level PASF-IDF meeting in central Jenin since the outbreak of the second intifada in 2000. End note). PA Security Chiefs Present Requests; Say IDF

Receptive But Noncommittal
---------------------------------

3. (S) NSF Commander MG Ali told PolOff August 12 that PA representatives agreed to provide the IDF with a detailed report on PA actions against West Bank institutions identified by the IDF in late July as having possible terrorist connections. He said PASF chiefs also gave the IDF commanders a list of requests to improve security coordination, handling of fugitives and the local economy, including: -- Ending uncoordinated IDF incursions and transferring security responsibility to the PA in agreed areas; -- Expediting clearance for the PA to move between towns (and A/B areas) and eliminating the requirement for advance approval for altering PA checkpoints inside Area A; -- Opening Shavei Shomron checkpoint until midnight daily and setting its status as "open, no inspections" (as reported Ref A, the recently opened road gate currently closes at 1800) and removing Hamra checkpoint (SE of Tubas on the foothills above the Jordan Valley); -- Better facilitating entry of Arab-Israelis into Jenin, including allowing their personal vehicles to enter Jenin with outbound inspections (discussed Ref C); -- Expediting the amnesty timeline for fugitive accepted into the disarmament/amnesty program.

4. (C) MG Ali and other PASF chiefs told PolOff and POL FSN that BGs Tibon and Mordechai said they will consider the requests and provide an answer at a follow-up meeting next week (no date set). He said the general tenor of the meeting was highly positive, but as the IDF did not commit to act on the requests, the meeting was incomplete. He commented that JERUSALEM 00001498 002 OF 002 past meetings had not usually resulted in major improvements on the ground. He said the IDF's repeated denials of PA requests to deploy additional forces in Hebron was a problem and the PA assesses that, separate from concern about Hizb al-Tahrir activities, Hebron most needs a security campaign to eliminate terrorist and organized criminal threats. WALLES

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