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Cablegate: Palestinian Authority Security Officials On Coordination with Israel

VZCZCXRO4770
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #0286 0471628
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 161628Z FEB 10
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7594
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC

S E C R E T JERUSALEM 000286

NOFORN
SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE, SEMEP, AND IPA
NSC FOR SHAPIRO/KUMAR
JOINT STAFF FOR LT GEN SELVA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/16/2020
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINS KWBG KPAL IS
SUBJECT: PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY SECURITY OFFICIALS ON COORDINATION WITH ISRAEL

Classified By: CG Daniel Rubinstein, per reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

Summary
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1. (S) In recent meetings with Post, Palestinian Authority (PA) security officials reiterated their commitment to continued Israeli-Palestinian security coordination. They expressed frustration with what they termed a one-sided Israeli approach, and highlighted the importance of keeping coordination out of the public eye. PA Civil Police Chief Hazim Atallah highlighted new coordination channels with the Israeli National Police (INP) in areas such as criminal investigations and counternarcotics. End summary.

Continued PA Commitment to Security Coordination --------------------------------------------- ---

2. (S) In meetings held in Ramallah on February 7, PA security officials stated their continued commitment to security coordination with Israel. Minister of Interior Said Abu Ali told Post, "We support coordination if it is in the spirit of implementing Oslo," noting that cooperation benefits both sides. However, he said, publicity about Israeli-Palestinian security coordination threatens the sustainability of the PA's security campaign. It is essential to depoliticize these contacts and keep them out of the public eye, he noted.

New Coordination Channels
-------------------------

3. (S) In a separate meeting, PA Civil Police Chief Atallah briefed Post on new coordination channels between the Palestinian police and their INP counterparts. With PA President Mahmoud Abbas's approval, the PA Civil Police and INP recently established four working groups to discuss the subject of violence in the H1 (Palestinian-controlled) area of Hebron. These working groups include the Traffic Police, Criminal Investigations Department, Special Police, and Counternarcotics. Atallah acknowledged the need for greater coordination, but noted limits to these efforts, as the INP's responsibilities in the West Bank are circumscribed.

"One-Sided" Coordination
------------------------

4. (S) Atallah echoed Minister Abu Ali's comments on the importance of continued security coordination with Israel, and underscored his own willingness to continue meeting with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) representatives regardless of the political climate. Atallah said that security coordination is not only required by Oslo-era Agreements, but also is in the Palestinians' interest. He expressed concern about what he described as asymmetrical information sharing, with far more information flowing from the Palestinian side to Israel than is received in return. He also juxtaposed positive GOI statements on PA security efforts (such as Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak's praise at the recent Herzilya conference) with the GOI's unwillingness to change its rules of engagement on the ground. RUBINSTEIN

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