US embassy cable - 95JERUSALEM318

ARAFAT ORDERS ARREST OF ISLAMIC JIHAD LEADERS

Identifier: 95JERUSALEM318
Wikileaks: View 95JERUSALEM318 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Jerusalem
Created: 1995-01-25 08:58:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL KWBG KPAL PTER PINS PLO IS US
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 250858Z JAN 95
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6394
INFO AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY AMMAN IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY BEIRUT IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY TUNIS IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE 
C O N F I D E N T I A L JERUSALEM 000318 
 
 
DEPT FOR SMEC AND NEA 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL:  OADR 
TAGS: PREL, KWBG, KPAL, PTER, PINS, PLO, IS, US 
SUBJECT: ARAFAT ORDERS ARREST OF ISLAMIC JIHAD LEADERS 
 
1.  (C - ENTIRE TEXT.) 
 
2.  SUMMARY:  NABIL SHA'ATH INFORMED CONSUL GENERAL LATE 
JANUARY 24 THAT FOUR PRINCIPAL ISLAMIC JIHAD LEADERS IN 
GAZA HAD BEEN ARRESTED BY THE PPF.  SHA'ATH SAID THAT 
ARAFAT FOR THE FIRST TIME IS DETERMINED TO TAKE CONCRETE 
STEPS AGAINST ISLAMIC RADICALS.  ARAFAT REPORTEDLY 
UNDERSTOOD THE TREMENDOUS PRESSURE ON RABIN FOLLOWING 
THE BEIT LID BOMBING.  SHA'ATH COMMENTED THAT RABIN 
NEEDS USG SUPPORT VIS-A-VIS HIS DOMESTIC OPPONENTS.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
3.  FOLLOWING NUMEROUS CONVERSATIONS BY CONSUL GENERAL 
WITH PA OFFICIALS JANUARY 24 URGING A FIRM PA RESPONSE 
TO THE BEIT LID BOMBING, NABIL SHA'ATH CALLED CONSUL 
GENERAL TUESDAY EVENING TO INFORM HIM THAT AT ARAFAT'S 
ORDERS, FOUR PRINCIPAL ISLAMIC JIHAD LEADERS IN GAZA HAD 
BEEN ARRESTED.  THE FOUR ARE ABDALLAH AL SHAMI, ABDALLAH 
SULIEMAN AL ZUQ, MOHAMMAD ABDALLAH SHALLAH AND OMAR 
MOHAMMAD FURAH.  SHA'ATH SAID THAT SEVERAL GUARDS OF 
THESE INDIVIDUALS HAD ALSO BEEN ARRESTED.  CONSUL 
GENERAL SAID THAT THIS WAS A GOOD MOVE BUT FOLLOW 
THROUGH WAS VERY IMPORTANT.  IF THESE INDIVIDUALS WERE 
HELD FOR A FEW DAYS AND RELEASED, THE ACTION WOULD BE 
MEANINGLESS.  SHA'ATH SAID HE UNDERSTOOD.  HE SAID THAT 
ARAFAT FOR THE FIRST TIME IS DETERMINED TO TAKE CONCRETE 
MEASURES. 
 
4.  REFERRING TO RABIN'S ADDRESS TO THE ISRAELI NATION 
JANUARY 23, SHA'ATH SAID THAT HE THOUGHT THAT RABIN HAD 
BEEN VERY STATESMANLIKE IN HIS DETERMINATION TO PROCEED 
WITH THE PEACE PROCESS.  HE SAID THAT HE, ARAFAT AND 
OTHER PALESTINIAN LEADERS UNDERSTOOD THE TREMENDOUS 
PRESSURE THAT RABIN WAS UNDER BECAUSE OF THE BEIT LID 
BOMBING.  AS FOR A STRONG STATEMENT BY ARAFAT CONDEMNING 
THE BOMBING, SHA'ATH SAID THAT ARAFAT HAD MADE TWO 
SPEECHES IN GAZA JANUARY 24 ATTACKING THE ISLAMISTS FOR 
ACTIONS TAKEN WHICH DAMAGED PALESTINIAN INTERESTS. 
SHA'ATH SAID THAT THIS WAS THE STRONGEST ATTACK EVER 
AGAINST THE ISLAMIC MILITANTS.  HE REPEATED THAT THERE 
WAS MUCH MORE RESOLVE ON ARAFAT'S PART TO CONFRONT THE 
MILITANTS. 
 
5.  SHA'ATH EXPRESSED ANXIETY ABOUT RABIN'S DOMESTIC 
POSITION AND SAID THAT RABIN NEEDS USG SUPPORT VIS-A-VIS 
HIS DOMESTIC OPPONENTS.  HE ALSO RAISED THE CLOSURE OF 
GAZA AND JERICHO, ASKING FOR U.S. INTERCESSION WITH 
RABIN TO ADVISE HIM AGAINST AN EXTENDED CLOSURE AS 
OCCURRED AFTER THE TEL AVIV BOMBING.  SHA'ATH SAID THAT 
THE MOOD IN GAZA IS CURRENTLY VERY MUCH AGAINST ISLAMIC 
JIHAD.  HE SAID THAT EVEN HAMAS IS TRYING TO DISTANCE 
ITSELF FROM THE IJ.  HOWEVER, THE LONGER THE CLOSURES 
LAST THE MORE THE AVERAGE PALESTINIAN WILL BLAME THE PA 
FOR THEIR ECONOMIC DIFFICULTIES. 
 
6.  SHA'ATH SAID THAT WHEN THE CLOSURE HAD BEEN 
INITIALLY IMPOSED, LOCAL IDF UNITS WERE PREVENTING ALL 
TRAFFIC TO AND FROM GAZA INCLUDING BANNING OF FOOD AND 
OTHER SUPPLIES FROM REACHING GAZA AND CUTTING OFF THE 
EXPORT OF FLOWERS AND STRAWBERRIES FROM GAZA.  SHA'ATH 
SAID HE COMPLAINED ABOUT THIS TO DANNY ROTHSCHILD IN A 
MEETING AT EREZ JANUARY 24 AND ROTHSCHILD HAD 
STRAIGHTENED OUT THE PROBLEM OF THE MOVEMENT OF GOODS TO 
AND FROM GAZA.  ROTHSCHILD ALSO TOLD SHA'ATH THAT THE 
CLOSURE WOULD LAST NO LONGER THAN THE END OF THE WEEK. 
SHA'ATH SAID HE HOPES THAT THIS WILL BE THE CASE. 
7.  NABIL ABU RUDEINA ALSO CONFIRMED TO CONSUL GENERAL 
THAT ARAFAT ORDERED THE ARREST OF THE FOUR ISLAMIC JIHAD 
LEADERS.  ABU RUDEINA SAID THAT ARAFAT PLANS TO LEAVE 
LATER TODAY FOR HIS MEETING IN AMMAN WITH KING HUSSEIN. 
 
 
ABINGTON 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04