A report by military intelligence said the PA has submitted a series of
demands for the United States to pressure Israel over the next few weeks, Middle East Newsline reported.
The demands included a prisoner release, the return of Palestinian
insurgents from abroad, the transfer of tax funds to the PA and the
reopening of Fatah and Hamas institutions closed in Jerusalem since 2000.
"Abbas is incapable of negotiating, let alone making concessions," an
intelligence source said. "His belief is that there will not be any demands
made of him. Instead, we will face all the pressure."
The sources said the intelligence community has presented its assessment
of the summit to the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. They said
military intelligence has warned that the PA was incapable of issuing or
honoring any commitments, particularly in the area of counter-insurgency
"The PA security forces have made very little progress over the last few
months and remain incapable of controlling cities in Judea and Samaria [West
Bank]," the source said. "The Fatah military wing is not under Abbas's
Instead, the sources said, the PA has sought to recruit its Arab and
Western allies to force Israel to agree to a unilateral withdrawal from the
West Bank, massive prisoner release and the establishment of a Palestinian
state in 2008. They cited plans by both Olmert and Vice Premier Haim Ramon
for a unilateral withdrawal from at least 95 percent of the area.
The MI report said Fatah has been losing power to Hamas in the West Bank
while the movement led by Abbas has been neutralized in the Gaza Strip. The
report raised the prospect of a major Palestinian strike against Israel
prior or during the summit.
On Thursday, Israel sent a message to the United States that warned that
Egypt had failed to stop weapons smuggling from the Sinai Peninsula to the
Gaza Strip. The message said the flow of insurgents and weapons from Sinai
threatened the conference.
"The smuggling of weapons and terrorist experts from Sinai to the Gaza
Strip through the Philadelphi Route [Sinai-Gaza border] poses a real threat
to the holding of the Annapolis conference," the message, quoted by the
Israeli daily Haaretz, read.
So far, the summit has divided the Olmert government. Several senior
ministers, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tsipi
Livni, has opposed Olmert's willingness to discuss the Palestinian demand
for Jerusalem as well as the resettlement of millions of refugees in Israel.
The sources said the United States agrees with the Israeli intelligence
assessment regarding the prospect of the forthcoming summit. They said the
Bush administration has refrained from touting the peace conference or
"We haven't issued any invitations yet," State Department spokesman Sean
McCormack said. "We're going to focus on making this meeting the most
efficient and effective use of all the participants' time to try to move the