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Viewing cable 09CAIRO1576, MFA ON FATAH CONGRESS ELECTIONS, PALESTINIAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09CAIRO1576 2009-08-13 11:11 2011-02-16 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXRO1531
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #1576 2251105
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 131105Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3427
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 001576 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/12/2019 
TAGS: PREL KPAL IS EG
SUBJECT: MFA ON FATAH CONGRESS ELECTIONS, PALESTINIAN 
RECONCILIATION 
 
Classified By: Minister Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs Donald A. Blome for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (C) On August 11, Poloff met with new MFA Director of Palestinian Affairs, Hesham Seif al-Din and MFA Cabinet Advisor for Israeli-Palestinian Affairs, Ahmed Hamshari. Seif Al-Din said he was adopting a "wait and see" attitude towards the Fatah elections, but doubted that the elections would result in any tangible changes within Fatah. "There are still too many factions," he noted. Seif Al-Din planned to watch closely for the next four to five weeks for any changes in Fatah policy, especially in regards to Gaza.

2. (C) Hamshari - who previously served in Gaza - echoed the same doubts on the likelihood of substantive changes in Fatah policies, calling the elections a "cover" for Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to reaffirm his legitimacy. "New blood does not mean new ideas," he said, saying that most of the newly elected Central Committee members were pro-Abbas. Hamshari noted that his Palestinian contacts, who he referred to as "independents," were highly critical of the elections because of the alleged interference by the security forces throughout the conference and the lack of a comprehensive conference report. His contacts also said that Abbas supporters tightly controlled the conference invitations and coordinated with the Israelis to ensure that certain party members did not attend the conference.

3. (C) Hamshari believed that disagreements within the newly elected Central Committee over key issues like Israeli-Palestinian relations, Hamas, PA finances and an overall "lack of vision" would inevitably cause a split within Fatah. The elections "changed nothing in regards to the Palestinian street," he asserted. Hamshari doubted that the PA elections would take place as scheduled in January 2010, saying that "neither side wants an election now."

4. (C) Hamshari said that representatives from Fatah and Hamas were tentatively scheduled to return to Cairo on August 25 to resume reconciliation talks under the auspices of EGIS Chief Omar Suleiman. Seif Al-Din noted that the process of reconciliation talks was very important, even if no agreement could be reached, in order to maintain some level of calm. SCOBEY