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Cablegate: Consul General and Unrwa Commissioner General

VZCZCXRO2894
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1292 1730903
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 220903Z JUN 07
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8141
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001292

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAL KWBG PGOV PREL PREF IS
SUBJECT: CONSUL GENERAL AND UNRWA COMMISSIONER GENERAL
KAREN ABUZAYD: USD 40 MILLION COMMITTMENT AND USG SUPPORT


1. (U) In a June 21 meeting with UNRWA Commissioner General
Karen AbuZayd, the Consul General confirmed the USG
contribution of $40 million to UNRWA's 2007 Emergency Appeal
and reaffirmed the USG commitment to Palestinians in the West
Bank and Gaza. AbuZayd expressed appreciation for continuing
USG support, which she said will help provide much-need food,
health services, and employment opportunities. She said
UNRWA's Gaza operations have resumed following the violence
that accompanied Hamas' take-over of Gaza, a small number of
international staff have returned to Gaza, and local Gaza
staff are resuming summer program plans.

2. (SBU) AbuZayd said finding a solution to the problem of
crossings at Gaza will be critical for the requisite
quantities of food and other assistance to reach Gazans, and
she hopes the Karni/al Mintar crossing will reopen soon to
avoid a depletion of available food stocks. She added that
exclusive use of the Kerem Shalom crossing will be inadequate
to meet humanitarian needs, because it cannot handle enough
truckloads per day. The Consul General said the issue of
security on the Palestinian side of the crossings will likely
be a problem for the foreseeable future.

3. (U) Local Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Ayyam
(circulation 22,000) and Ma'an online news, which has the
highest readership among Palestinians news websites, covered
the meeting between the Consul General and UNRWA ComGen,
highlighting the Consul General's statement that the USG's
"continued commitment to UNRWA illustrates our concern for
the welfare of the Palestinian people, especially those in
Gaza." Press reports quoted AbuZayd as stating that UNRWA is
"immensely grateful for this generous contribution for our
severely underfunded Emergency Appeal." All local media
outlets also featured prominent coverage of the Secretary's
June 18 annoucement.
WALLES

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