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Viewing cable 07TELAVIV679, UNSCR 1701: GOI FOCUS ON SMUGGLING AND SOLDIERS;

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TELAVIV679 2007-03-02 11:05 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tel Aviv
VZCZCXRO3215
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHTV #0679/01 0611105
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 021105Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9754
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4898
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 000679 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/01/2017 
TAGS: PREL UNSC KPKO LE IS
SUBJECT: UNSCR 1701: GOI FOCUS ON SMUGGLING AND SOLDIERS; 
UN RAISES OVERFLIGHTS AND SHEBAA 
 
REF: BEIRUT 320 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Marc Sievers for reasons 1.4 (b and 
D). 
 
1. (C) Summary:  UNSYG Special Adviser on the Situation in 
the Middle East Michael Williams discussed UNSCR 1701 
implementation with FM Tzipi Livni and Deputy DefMin Ephraim 
Sneh during his February 25-26 visit to Israel.  Both sides 
characterized the talks as productive.  (Note:  In contrast 
to reftel account of Williams' comments in Beirut, MFA 
A/S-equivalent for IO Yaar told PolCouns March 1 that both 
the GOI and Williams were pleased with his visit to Israel 
and that Williams expressed appreciation for the reduced 
number and less aggressive pattern of Israeli overflights.) 
The GOI focused on the lack of progress in countering weapons 
smuggling and the fate of abducted Israeli soldiers.  The MOD 
provided an intelligence briefing on Hizballah rearmament, 
but the UN staff found it unlikely that the information would 
be useful operationally.  Williams expressed an 
"understanding" for the GOI's justifications of overflights 
of Lebanon, but noted that they remain violations and would 
be labeled as such.  The UN asked the GOI to receive a 
cartographer working on the Shebaa Farms issue and privately 
told the Embassy that the cartography work is near 
completion.  UNSYG Ban Ki-Moon may visit Israel in late March 
before attending the Arab League Summit in Riyadh.  End 
summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
GOI: smuggling and abducted soldiers are main problems 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
2. (C) According to MFA officials who attended Williams' 
meeting with FM Livni, the GOI wants the UN's March 16 report 
on 1701 implementation to focus on the lack of progress on 
preventing weapons smuggling and the release of abducted 
Israeli soldiers.  UN staff said that the MOD and IDF were 
much more positive than Livni in their assessments of 
UNIFIL's effectiveness.  The Israelis all praised the change 
in UNIFIL command and the performance of the French and 
Spanish troops.  Note: The GOI remains concerned about 
Hizballah's military build-up in Lebanon.  One of Livni's 
assistants, Tal Becker, will be in New York in the next few 
days to meet with UN officials.  Livni's office said that she 
told Williams that the main problem is the GOL's refusal to 
request international assistance controlling its border with 
Syria.  She suggested that such control be made a 
prerequisite for reconstruction funding.  The MFA's office 
director for UN Political Affairs told us that the GOI 
continues to prefer a second UNSCR to address the issue, and 
is awaiting the March 16 report to determine its options 
prior to UNIFIL's mandate extension review in August.  End 
note. 
 
3. (C) UN staff reported that Deputy DefMin Sneh, IDI 
(military intelligence) Deputy BG Yossi Baidatz, and a number 
of other IDF officers provided extensive presentations on 
Syrian weapons smuggling to Hizballah in Lebanon.  A UN 
political officer, who has the task of passing such 
information to UNIFIL for possible action, described the 
briefings as more comprehensive than past presentations. 
However, he expressed skepticism that the material provided 
would be useful in an operational sense.  Baidatz is now in 
New York to provide additional intelligence briefings to the 
P-5 and others. 
 
4. (C) Williams and FM Livni held one-on-one discussions 
about the two Israeli soldiers abducted by Hizballah. 
Williams later met with the families of other Israeli MIAs 
from previous conflicts.  MFA staff said that no progress was 
made on this issue. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -------------- 
"Understanding" for overflights; but they remain violations 
--------------------------------------------- -------------- 
 
5. (C) According to both the MFA and UN staff, Williams 
surprised his hosts by expressing "understanding" for the 
reasons behind Israel's continued overflights of southern 
Lebanon.  UN staff said he thanked the GOI for decreasing the 
number of flights and ending provocative operations that 
UNIFIL interpreted as mock bombing runs against international 
units and facilities.  At the same time, he stressed to the 
GOI that all overflights are violations of UNSCR 1701 and 
cautioned that he would have to say so in public if asked. 
Williams spoke with MFA officials on the phone from Lebanon 
and confirmed that he had made a public statement in Beirut 
at PM Siniora's behest terming the overflights as violations. 
 
TEL AVIV 00000679  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
 
--------------------------------------------- 
Shebaa Farms: UN cartographer almost finished 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
6. (C) UN officials told poloff that the MFA's A/S-equivalent 
for International Organizations, Ronni Leshno-Yaar, "strongly 
warned" Williams not to mention the Shebaa Farms issue in the 
meeting with Livni.  Williams refrained from addressing the 
substance of the issue, but did ask the GOI to agree to a 
visit by the cartographer working on the issue for the UN. 
MFA officials said that Livni offered no reply, adding that 
she continues to see any Israeli concession on Shebaa as a 
"huge problem."  Note: UN staff (please protect) told poloff 
that the cartographer's work is in a very advanced stage, to 
the point that it identifies GOI military installations that 
would need to be moved and even suggests possible alternate 
locations.  They said that Williams had told them during 
internal UN discussions that he believes PM Siniora needs 
positive movement on Shebaa.  End note. 
 
-------------------------------------- 
UNSYG visit likely at the end of March 
-------------------------------------- 
 
7. (C) UN officials said that UNSYG Ban Ki-Moon may visit 
Jerusalem and Ramallah sometime in the March 24-27 timeframe, 
prior to his possible attendance at the Arab League summit in 
Riyadh on March 28-29. 
 
********************************************* ******************** 
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv's Classified Website: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv 
 
You can also access this site through the State Department's 
Classified SIPRNET website. 
********************************************* ******************** 
CRETZ