Cablegate: Guidance: Middle East Consultations, November


DE RUEHC #0323 3250349
O 210344Z NOV 09



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Guidance: Middle East Consultations, November

1. (U) This is an action request. USUN may draw from
para two elements when making its intervention during
the upcoming Middle East consultations in the Security
Council on November 24.

2. (SBU) Begin elements:

I thank Under Secretary-General Pascoe for his report.

Advancing the cause of comprehensive peace in the Middle
East is among the United States' most important foreign
policy endeavors. Our goal is clear: two states living
side by side in peace and security -- a Jewish state of
Israel, and a viable, independent Palestinian state with
contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began
in 1967, as well as peace agreements between Israel and
Syria and Israel and Lebanon and the full normalization
of relations between Israel and its neighbors. The
President, the Secretary of State and Special Envoy
Mitchell continue to work for the prompt resumption and
early, successful conclusion of negotiations between the

The Palestinian Authority and President Abbas are making
steady progress to construct the foundation for a viable
and responsible Palestinian state. We welcome the PA's
development of a detailed, two-year plan to build
institutional capacity, and we are pleased to see the
rise in economic activity and quality of life in the
West Bank. Israel has taken constructive steps to
facilitate this progress, removing key checkpoints and
withdrawing troops to the outskirts of four cities, but
much more needs to be done.

As we have noted, the United States does not accept the
legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements, and has
called for settlement activity to stop. The Israelis
have responded to our call by expressing a willingness
to significantly curtail settlement activity. While this
falls short of our request, if acted upon, it would have
a meaningful and significant effect on the ground.

In this context, we were dismayed at the Jerusalem
Planning Committee's decision to move forward on the
approval process for the expansion of Gilo in Jerusalem.
We also object to the continuing pattern of evictions
and demolitions of Palestinian homes. The status of
Jerusalem is a permanent status issue that must be
resolved through negotiations between the parties.

At a time when we are working to re-launch negotiations,
neither party should engage in efforts or take actions
that could unilaterally pre-empt, or appear to pre-empt,
negotiations. Our focus remains on re-launching
negotiations as soon as possible, and we therefore call
on all parties to avoid taking steps that would make
this effort more difficult.

If Hamas is serious about delivering a Palestinian
state, then it will accept the building blocks of that
state: renunciation of violence, recognition of Israel,
and acceptance of previous agreements between the
parties. Hamas' approach, which continues to represent
a threat to international peace and security, was a
cause of the conflict in Gaza last winter. In light of
Hamas' efforts to rearm, all UN members must fulfill
their responsibility to prevent illicit arms smuggling
into Gaza.

At the same time, we call for a reopening of the
crossings, with an appropriate monitoring regime, to
allow for the entry of legitimate goods into Gaza,
consistent with UN Security Council Resolution 1860.
Unless this occurs, hardships and stress that civilians
in Gaza face in their daily lives will persist.

We have repeatedly made clear our serious concerns about
the Report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza
Conflict and its recommendations. That said, we also
take seriously the allegations of human rights and
humanitarian law violations in the report, and note
Israel's recent statement that all the incidents cited
therein have been or are being examined. We continue to
support the need for accountability through thorough and
credible domestic investigations. The report has been
addressed by the Human Rights Council and the UN General
Assembly and does not need to be addressed by this
Council or in other international fora. We do not
believe that Hamas has any willingness to investigate
and expose its own violations, and demand an end to its
deliberate targeting of civilians and its use of the
population of Gaza as human shields.

Finally, turning to the situation in Lebanon, we welcome
the formation of a new Lebanese government and look
forward to its participation in this Council next year.
We reiterate our long-standing support for the work of
the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the importance of
ending impunity for political violence. We also note
the need for all parties to fulfill the provisions of
Security Council resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701. We
look forward to the summary in the next 1701 report of
the inquiry by the UN Interim Force in Lebanon into the
October 12 munitions explosion in Tayr Felsay.

End elements.

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