Cablegate: Codel Wexler's Meeting with Military Intelligence

DE RUEHTV #2745/01 3431541
O 081541Z DEC 08

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 002745


E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/08/2018


Classified By: Acting DCM Marc Sievers, Reason 1.4 (b) (d)

1. (S) Summary. In his December 3 meeting with Israel
Defense Intelligence Director Yadlin, Representative Robert
Wexler (D-Florida) referred to his previous meeting with
Likud Party leader Netanyahu (reftel) and asked for Yadlin's
assessment of the possibility of Israel and the Palestinian
moving forward on the basis of an "economic peace." Yadlin
said Israel's relations with the Palestinians need time; the
next Israeli Prime Minister and perhaps the next PA President
will need the time to build trust. Trying to move directly
to a solution will result in violence as in 2000. Yadlin
said the Palestinians have established two entities. Abbas
and Fayyad rule the West Bank with Israel's support, while
Hamas has established a terrorist entity in Gaza. Yadlin
stressed that Israel is on the right track in the West Bank,
while he advocates taking a "much tougher" approach to Gaza.
Yadlin said Israel can find Hamas officials where they live
and work in Gaza. If the firing of rockets and mortars from
Gaza continues, the IDF will "use this card," i.e. resume
targetted assassinations, in order to "change the paradigm."
End Summary.

2. (S) Representative Robert Wexler, accompanied by staffer
Jonathan Katz, control officer and PolCouns called on Israel
Defense Intelligence (IDI) Director Major General Amos Yadlin
in the Kirya December 3. Noting that he had just come from a
meeting with Likud Party leader Bibi Netanyahu, Congressman
Wexler noted the Netanyahu is talking about an economic plan
for developing the West Bank, while Prime Minister Fayyad
says the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is not economic in
nature. Proceeding from the assumption that Netanyahu is
likely to form the next Israeli government, Wexler asked
whether Yadlin thought it would be possible to marry
Netanyahu's economic plan with Fayyad's pragmatic approach of
getting "deliverables" and reducing the IDF's role.

3. (S) Yadlin replied that the Palestinians are only
Israel's number four threat in the IDI's assessment,
following Iran, Syria, and Hizballah. Although the
Palestinians are not the IDI's top concern, Yadlin said he
would answer the question by noting that it will take time to
marry Netanyahu's approach to Fayyad's. If the parties
attempt to move straight to resolving the conflict, the
attempt will collapse and result in violence as in the start
of the Second Intifada after the 2000 Camp David summit. The
key question is how can the Palestinian Authority control
terrorism. Yadlin said the USSC General Dayton is doing "a
very good job" of training the PA Security Forces, but Yadlin
quoted Dayton as saying that the PASF will need three to five
years to build its counter-terrorist capabilities, including
a functioning justice system.

4. (S) Yadlin said the IDF is out of the Jenin area unless
it receives reports of a "ticking bomb." The PA, however, is
ignoring Gaza and Fayyad insists on paying salaries in Gaza,
which helps Hamas. Yadlin said this is a "big mistake."
Yadlin noted that the Palestinians have created two entities.
President Abbas and Fayyad condemn terrorism and stress that
Palestinian national goals can be achieved through
negotiations. They rule in the West Bank with Israel's
assistance. In Gaza, a terrorist organization is in power
and Hamas preaches that Palestinian aspirations can be
achieved through terrorism. This division provides Israel
with a "historic opportunity" to prove that Hamas' approach
will fail.

5. (S) Yadlin insisted that Israel must not withdraw from
the West Bank too soon or it would pave the way for a new
wave of suicide bombings inside Israel. Israel's good
security situation is a direct result of the IDF and Shin
Bet's sustained effort to destroy terrorism in the West Bank.
This efforts continues every night of the year. It will
take time to build trust between the next Israeli prime
minister and perhaps the next PA president as well. Yadlin
said he is satisfied that Israel is now on the right track in
the West Bank. The IDF has figured out how to remove
obstacles that affect the Palestinian economy while leaving
in place the means to ensure Israel's security. In Gaza,
however, Israel needs to be "much tougher."

6. (S) Congressman Wexler asked why Fayyad wants to send
money to Gaza. Yadlin said Fayyad fears that if he does not,
Hamas will bring in money from Iran, but Yadlin added that
this concern was misplaced. Hamas' control of Gaza provides
an opportunity. Since the terrorists are now the government,
Israel knows which terrorist is sitting in what office and
where their homes are. They have come out of hiding and into

TEL AVIV 00002745 002 OF 002

the open, so the IDF can identify and find them. Yadlin
warned that if the shelling of Israeli communities from Gaza
continues, Israel can "use this card" against Hamas. It will
"change the paradigm," he concluded.

7. (S) Comment. While Yadlin did not use the phrase
"targeted assassinations," it was clear from the context that
he is advocating this approach to countering the threat from
Hamas. It was also clear that he strongly opposes those in
the GOI who advocate maintaining a base of currency flow into
Gaza. End comment.

8. (U) CODEL Wexler did not have the opportunity to clear
this cable.

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