The Palestine Cables: Egyptian VP Suleiman, Israel’s favorite, wants ‘Gaza to go ‘hungry’ but not ‘starve”
(Mondoweiss) -- by Alex Kane --
The Israeli establishment is pleased to see that Omar Suleiman, the former head of Egypt's intelligence services who was recently appointed to be Egypt's first vice president, is angling to continue the Mubarak regime. As reports circulate that Hosni Mubarak may step down tonight, examining Suleiman, Mubarak's presumed successor, seems all the more important. State Department cables released by WikiLeaks show that Suleiman directs Egypt's policies on Israel/Palestine, policies that are in line with Israeli goals: weakening Hamas, continuing the blockade of Gaza and halting Iranian influence.
In fact, Israel has explicitly voiced that Suleiman--spelled "Soliman" in the diplomatic cables--is their favored choice to assume the helm of the Egyptian presidency once Mubarak is gone. An August 2008 cable from the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv reads:
[Arab Affairs Adviser David] Hacham was full of praise for Soliman, however, and noted that a "hot line" set up between the MOD and Egyptian General Intelligence Service is now in daily use...Hacham noted that the Israelis believe Soliman is likely to serve as at least an interim President if Mubarak dies or is incapacitated. (Note: We defer to Embassy Cairo for analysis of Egyptian succession scenarios, but there is no question that Israel is most comfortable with the prospect of Omar Soliman.)Egypt has been Israel's chief partner in the devastating blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has caused Gaza's economy to be on the "brink of collapse," as a UN spokesman put it yesterday. Suleiman is quoted in a December 2007 cable as wanting the blockade to cause "Gaza to go 'hungry' but not 'starve.'" 80 percent of the people of Gaza rely on UN aid to survive...MORE...LINK
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