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Cablegate: Unsc : Monthly Meeting On the Middle East August

VZCZCXRO3592
OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUCNDT #0799/01 2401406
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281406Z AUG 09
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7124
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 USUN NEW YORK 000799

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPKO KBIO UN IS LE
SUBJECT: UNSC : MONTHLY MEETING ON THE MIDDLE EAST AUGUST
2009

REF: STATE 86157

1. (SBU) Summary: Assistant Secretary-General for Political
Affairs (A/SYG) Oscar Fernandez-Taranco briefed the Security
Council during its monthly meeting on the Middle East on
August 19. He focused on evictions of Palestinians from East
Jerusalem homes, the continuing difficulties at the border
crossing points with Gaza, the situation in Lebanon, and
upcoming meetings and reports on the Middle East. Noting the
August 2 eviction of Palestinian families from homes in East
Jerusalem, Fernandez-Taranco said that 450 other residents of
the neighborhood are "at risk of displacement." The A/SYG
said that the fact-finding mission led by Justice Goldstone
is drafting its report and will present it at the September
29 meeting of the Human Rights Council. He informed Council
members of the planned September meetings of the Ad Hoc
Liaison Committee and Quartet. On Lebanon, Fernandez-Taranco
said that the situation in the UNIFIL area of operations
remains quiet and tensions in Khirbat Silim and Kfar Shouba
have subsided. The Security Council issued a press statement
on the bombings in Iraq at the conclusion of the meeting.

2. (SBU) Summary Continued: In closed consultations, most
Council members called on Israel to stop settlement activity
and to cease evictions of Palestinians from homes in East
Jerusalem. The French PermRep termed recent Israeli actions
"unacceptable, illegal under international law, and negative
to the peace process." Council members expressed concerns
about the ongoing difficulties in moving goods and people
into or out of Gaza and echoed support for implementation of
UNSCR 1860. The Libyan Deputy PermRep called for the
international community to engage with Hamas and cited "no
indication of hope for a Palestinian state." He called for
consideration of a one-state solution with equal rights for
all citizens - Israeli and Palestinian - as an alternative.
End summary.


Assistant Secretary-General's Briefing


3. (SBU) Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs
(A/SYG) Oscar Fernandez-Taranco briefed the Security Council
during its monthly meeting on the Middle East on August 19
focusing on evictions of Palestinians from East Jerusalem
homes, the continuing difficulties at the border crossing
points with Gaza, the situation in Lebanon, and upcoming
meetings and reports on the Middle East. (Note: The full text
of the briefing can be found at
http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/scact200 9.htm ).
Fernandez-Taranco informed council members of the planned
September meetings of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee and the
Quartet; the latter will include consultations with members
of the Arab League's Follow-Up Committee on the Arab Peace
Initiative.

4. (SBU) Fernanez-Taranco recognized the Israeli announcement
of expanded hours of operation at the Allenby crossing
between the West Bank and Jordan, but called on Israeli
authorities to take a number of additional steps to ease
movement and access in the West Bank, given the 614 obstacles
to movement present. He also called for the easing of
restrictions in Area C. Noting the August 2 forcible
eviction of nine Palestinian families (a total of 53 people)
from homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East
Jerusalem, Fernandez-Taranco said that 450 other residents of
the neighborhood are "at risk of displacement" and called for
evictions to cease and be reversed. He underscored that
unilateral actions cannot prejudge final status issues.

5. (SBU) Fernandez-Taranco highlighted the radicalization of
certain elements in Gaza and the dangers of continued
smuggling of weapons into Gaza by describing the August 14
confrontation between a radical group calling itself "Jund
Ansar Allah" with Hamas forces in Gaza, after Jund Ansar
Allah armed radicals took refuge inside a Rafah mosque and
criticized Hamas for insufficient efforts to launch attacks
against Israel. He also noted two rocket and mortar attacks
against Israel by militant groups in Gaza, including one at
the Erez crossing during the transfer of medical patients,
and six recent Israeli ground incursions. He called for the
release of Gilad Shalit.

6. (SBU) Despite the continuing difficulties at the
crossings into Gaza, Fernandez-Taranco noted an average of 87
trucks per day, mostly of food and sanitation items, were
allowed into Gaza, compared to
78 trucks per day in July but contrasted that to the 475
trucks per day in May 2007. He positively cited the
shipments of diesel and gasoline into Gaza for private use
for the first time in 10 months, as well as the shipment of

USUN NEW Y 00000799 002 OF 003


cement and steel bars for repair of the Palestinian Water
Authority's north Gaza wastewater treatment plant.
Consultations with Israeli authorities on the UN proposal to
reconstruct schools, homes, and health clinics are ongoing,
he noted, but said it is unacceptable that no reconstruction
activities for the Gazan civilian population have been
facilitated since the end of the conflict. He called for a
prisoner exchange to be pursued in good faith so that Shalit
and Palestinian prisoners could be released. He said that
the report of the fact-finding mission led of Justice
Goldstone is expected to be presented on September 29 to the
Human Rights Council.

7. (SBU) Fernandez-Taranco said the situation in the UNIFIL
area of operations has remained quiet and that tensions in
Khirbat Silim and Kfar Shouba have subsided. He noted the
August 17 removal by the Israel Defense Forces of a
watchtower near Kfar Shouba which had been the site of a
Lebanese protest and Blue Line violation. He noted that the
Golan had been quiet, aside from Israeli settlement
activities.


Council Consultations focus on East Jerusalem and Gaza
Crossings


8. (SBU) During follow-on closed consultations, the majority
of Council members called on Israel to stop settlement
activity and to cease home demolitions and evictions of
Palestinians from homes in the East Jerusalem. (Note:
Ambassador Wolff delivered U.S. remarks drawn from reftel.
End note.) The French Deputy PermRep called recent Israeli
actions "unacceptable, illegal under international law, and
negative to the peace process." The Ugandan PermRep said
that evictions have increased tension in the region. The
Libyan Deputy Perm Rep criticized the Council for not making
a statement condemning the evictions in East Jerusalem and
alleged that it is only because the victims are Palestinian
that the Council is not criticizing Israel. The UK PermRep
noted as positive the recent statement by Israeli Minister of
Housing Atias that no new housing tenders have been approved,
but cautioned on the need to wait to see real action in the
West Bank. The Austrian Deputy PermRep called for the
"rapid" removal of obstacles to movement in the West Bank.

9. (SBU) Members expressed concern about the impact of
difficulties at the crossings into Gaza on reconstruction
efforts, the humanitarian situation inside Gaza, and the
Gazan economy. The Croatian Charge called the situation in
Gaza a "protracted human dignity crisis." Council members
called for opening the crossings with appropriate monitors
and full implementation of UNSCR 1860.

Intra- Palestinian tensions


10. (SBU) The Ugandan PermRep noted that Fatah members in
Gaza had been prevented by Hamas from departing Gaza to
participate in the recent Fatah Sixth Party Congress and
called for further efforts at reconciliation. The Libyan
Deputy PermRep called Hamas "no more extremist than the
current Israeli government" and called on the international
community to "engage with those who have popular
support and are democratically elected."


Peace process


11. (SBU) Council members France, Japan, Costa Rica, and the
UK praised U.S. leadership in the peace process, including
President Obama's personal involvement and the work of
Special Envoy Mitchell. However, the Libyan Deputy PermRep
said U.S. "pressure" on Arab states to make concessions or
take steps towards normalization of relations with Israel, in
order to support USG efforts to encourage an Israeli
settlement freeze, places the entire burden on Arab states.
He said this would not lead to peace but would just widen the
gap between Arab rulers and the Arab people. The Costa Rican
Deputy Perm Rep raised EU HighRep for Common Foreign and
Security Policy Javier Solana's proposal for the Council to
assume responsibility for the establishment of Palestinian
statehood and make it a member state of the United Nations
within a certain period of time.

12. (SBU) The Libyan Deputy PermRep said he saw "no
indication of hope for a Palestinian state." He continued
that without the withdrawal of all settlements from the West
Bank, including Jerusalem, the return of all Palestinian
refugees or appropriate compensation, and the establishment

USUN NEW Y 00000799 003 OF 003


of equally sovereign entities ("not one with nuclear weapons
and one demilitarized"), a one-state solution with equal
rights for all citizens would be a more appropriate goal.
The Russian Deputy PermRep said that Russia continues to plan
for the Moscow conference to be held "hopefully before the
end of the
year." Only the Vietnamese PermRep also referred to the
potential Moscow conference.


Lebanon


13. (SBU) While the majority of council members reserved
substantive comments on Lebanon for the August 20 UNFIL
consultations, the Russian Deputy PermRep declared any
violations of UN Security Council resolutions "unacceptable."


Press statement on Iraq Bombings


14. (SBU) At the conclusion of consultations, the Council
adopted a press statement on the August 19 truck bombings of
government ministries and other locations in Baghdad. The
Libyan Deputy PermRep initially objected to inclusion of
expressions of consolation to the Iraqi government in the
statement, but dropped objections when it was pointed out
that the language mirrored previous Council press statements
related to Iraq.
RICE

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