Search

 

Cablegate: Ambassador Raises Treatment of Amcits with Mfa

null
Carol X Weakley 11/07/2006 02:15:14 PM From DB/Inbox: Carol X Weakley

Cable
Text:


UNCLAS TEL AVIV 04398

SIPDIS
CXTelA:
ACTION: CONS
INFO: POL DCM

DISSEMINATION: CONS
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: AMB:RHJONES
DRAFTED: POL:MJSIEVERS
CLEARED: NONE

VZCZCTVI154
PP RUEHC RUEHAM RUEHEG RUEHJM
DE RUEHTV #4398 3071704
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 031704Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7406
INFO RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 0991
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 8788
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 4934

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 004398

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC PHUM PREL IS
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR RAISES TREATMENT OF AMCITS WITH MFA
DIRECTOR GENERAL ABRAMOVITCH


1. (SBU) The Ambassador raised reports of GOI mistreatment
of American citizens during a working lunch October 31 with
MFA Director General Aharon Abramovitch and Deputy Director
General for North America Yoram Ben Zeev. The Ambassador
noted that we had two separate types of concerns: a change
in the way the Israeli Ministry of Interior was handling
requests by Amcits residing in the West Bank to renew their
visas, as well as an increase in complaints by Amcits about
mistreatment at Ben Gurion Airport. As an example, the
Ambassador cited the case of a U.S. military doctor departing
Israel after attending an exchange program who had been
harassed and had his camera broken by Ben Gurion security
personnel October 30.

2. (SBU) The Ambassador said we knew the Attorney General
had recently advised the Minister of Interior that the GOI
more strictly enforce regulations on renewing three-month
tourist visas for Amcits, many but not all of them of
Palestinian origin, who reside in the West Bank. Since the
GOI would not grant these Amcits residency, the Ambassador
explained, in the past they were forced to enter Israel on
three month tourist visas, which they had heretofore been
able to renew without a problem. Since the Attorney
General's recommendation last spring, however, the U.S.
Consulate General in Jerusalem estimated that the GOI had
denied about 200 Amcits' requests to renew their visas. The
Ambassador said we could understand the Attorney General's
desire to enforce Israeli laws and regulations, but if the
problem was concern that Americans were working and residing
in the West Bank on tourist visas, the answer should be to
give them a mechanism to establish legal residence. Many of
these Amcits have been living in the West Bank for years and
had families or businesses that created jobs for
Palestinians. They were part of the solution, not part of
the problem.

3. (SBU) Regarding the Amcit residents, Abramovitch said he
had met with the Director General of the Ministry of
Interior, and was planning meetings with the Ministry of
Justice and security services to discuss the issue.
Abramovitch stressed that the GOI had changed the
implementation of existing regulations, but had not issued
new regulations. Abramovitch said he thought it would be a
good idea for the Ambassador to raise the issue with Minister
of Interior Bar On as well. Meanwhile, he would continue to
work the interagency process to find a practical solution.

4. (SBU) On the airport harassment issue, the Ambassador
told Abramovitch and Ben Zeev that the Embassy had an
obligation to inform American citizens if we believe they may
face problems at Ben Gurion Airport. Washington may
therefore consider changing our travel warning. Ben Zeev
told the Ambassador that the MFA consular department
maintained a 24-hour operations center as well as an MFA
official at the airport. Until MFA had time to develop a
more permanent solution, Ben Zeev said the Embassy should
contact his deputy, Dan Arbell, any time there was a problem
at Ben Gurion and Arbell would call the MFA's official at the
airport to intervene in order to resolve the problem. The
Ambassador thanked Abramovitch and Ben Zeev for their efforts
to improve the situation, noting that the mistreatment of
American citizens by Israel was already being reported in the
U.S. media.

********************************************* ********************
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv

You can also access this site through the State Department's
Classified SIPRNET website.
********************************************* ********************
JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>