Keep Us Strong WikiLeaks logo

Currently released so far... 5408 / 251,287

Articles

Browse latest releases

Browse by creation date

Browse by origin

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Browse by tag

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
QA
YM YI YE

Browse by classification

Community resources

courage is contagious

Viewing cable 07TELAVIV1732, ISA CHIEF DISKIN ON SITUATION IN THE GAZA STRIP

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #07TELAVIV1732.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TELAVIV1732 2007-06-13 16:04 2010-12-19 21:09 SECRET Embassy Tel Aviv
VZCZCXRO4174
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHTV #1732/01 1641603
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 131603Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1626
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 TEL AVIV 001732 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/13/2017 
TAGS: PREL PTER PHUM MARR MASS KPAL KWBG EG IS
SUBJECT: ISA CHIEF DISKIN ON SITUATION IN THE GAZA STRIP 
AND WEST BANK 

REF: TEL AVIV 1705 

Classified By: Ambassador Richard H. Jones. Reasons: 1.4 (b)(d). 

1. (S) SUMMARY: In a June 11 meeting that entailed 
discussion of the benchmarks (reftel), Israeli Security 
Agency (ISA) Head Yuval Diskin shared his assessment of the 
current situation in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, painting a 
picture of a desperate, disorganized, and demoralized Fatah 
in the Gaza Strip, versus a well-organized and ascendant 
Hamas. Speaking before the dramatic events of June 12-13 in 
Gaza, Diskin qualified that Hamas is currently not in a 
position to completely destroy Fatah. Diskin said that he 
opposes USSC LTG Dayton's proposal to equip security forces 
loyal to Palestinian Authority President Abbas and Fatah, as 
he is concerned that the provisions will end up in the hands 
of Hamas. He claimed that the security forces loyal to Abbas 
and Fatah have been penetrated by Hamas, and pointed to a 
recent incident in which Hamas reportedly seized heavy 
machine guns from Abbas' Presidential Guard. Diskin noted 
that the failed hostage-taking attempt two days earlier at 
the Kissufim crossing had been carried out by Palestinian 
Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades militants, 
and led by PIJ. He said that ISA had no prior information 
about the attack, and described it as "operationally 
creative." Diskin said that overall counter-tunnel 
cooperation with Egyptian security forces has improved over 
the last two months, but claimed that that the Egyptians 
still only react to intelligence supplied by ISA, and are 
otherwise not proactive. 

2. (S) SUMMARY, CONT.: Diskin described the overall security 
situation in the West Bank as comparatively better, and 
praised the level of cooperation ISA receives from the 
Palestinian security services operating in the West Bank. 
That said, he lamented what he characterized as a crisis of 
leadership in Fatah, with PA President Abbas already focusing 
on his retirement, and his possible successors incapable of 
leading the Palestinians in both the West Bank and the Gaza 
Strip. Diskin especially criticized PA National Security 
Advisor Muhammad Dahlan as attempting to lead his loyalists 
in the Gaza Strip by "remote control" from abroad. Diskin 
said that Fatah is on its "last legs," and that the situation 
bodes ill for Israel. He noted his intention to discuss some 
ideas on how to deal with the situation with PM Olmert in the 
near future, and said he would share his thoughts afterwards 
with the Ambassador. END SUMMARY. 

--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
DISKIN DESCRIBES SITUATION FOR FATAH IN GAZA AS DESPERATE 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 

3. (S) Speaking before the dramatic events of June 12-13, 
Diskin said that Hamas is dominant in the Gaza Strip, but is 
not yet strong enough there to completely destroy Fatah. The 
difference, he explained, is between the "quality" of Hamas, 
and the "quantity" of Fatah's security apparatus that is 
loyal to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Abbas. Hamas 
is dominant in most areas. In the Gaza Strip, it can win 
every fight with Fatah, but Fatah can do it harm in its 
"chaotic" way of fighting. Diskin said that some Fatah 
members are being paid by National Security Advisor Muhammad 
Dahlan, while others are being paid by Abbas -- especially 
the Presidential Guard. He noted that the Presidential Guard 
had been involved in the June 10 clashes at the Rafah 
crossing. 

--------------------------------------------- ------------- 
BUT NOTES HE OPPOSES PLAN TO SUPPORT FATAH SECURITY FORCES 
--------------------------------------------- ------------- 

4. (S) Diskin noted that he had heard earlier on June 11 from 
Palestinian sources that Hamas had succeeded in stealing some 
"Doshka" heavy machine guns from the Presidential Guard. He 
said that this is an example of why he does not support "at 
this time" USSC LTG Dayton's proposal to supply ammunition 
and weapons to Fatah: "I support the idea of militarily 
strengthening Fatah, but I am afraid that they are not 
organized to ensure that the equipment that is transferred to 
them will reach the intended recipients." Diskin claimed 
that most of the Fatah-aligned security forces have been 
penetrated by Hamas. He reiterated that he does not want to 
see any equipment transferred to them before he is convinced 
that the equipment will arrive at its intended destination. 

5. (S) Diskin raised as another matter the question of 
whether Fatah will be able to hold on to any equipment 
provided to it. He expressed concern about Fatah's 
organizational capabilities, and what he characterized as a 

TEL AVIV 00001732 002 OF 003 


glaring lack of leadership: "Dahlan is trying to manage 
Fatah's security forces by remote control. We are not even 
sure where he is." (NOTE: Diskin's aide said he believed 
Dahlan is in Cairo. But on June 13, Diskin told the 
Ambassador that Dahlan had surfaced in Amman the day before. 
END NOTE.) Diskin continued: "Fatah is in very bad shape in 
the Gaza Strip. We have received requests to train their 
forces in Egypt and Yemen. We would like them to get the 
training they need, and to be more powerful, but they do not 
have anyone to lead them." Diskin also made clear his 
reservations on training Palestinians in a country like Yemen 
with a strong Al-Qaida presence. 

6. (S) Diskin's aide said that the security forces at the 
Rafah crossing are strong, but are demoralized with the 
overall situation in the Gaza Strip. Diskin added that their 
communications with the ISA had become "desperate," and 
indicated no hope for the future. He observed that there is 
a young generation of leaders among Fatah who are being 
"pushed" by Dahlan and who have a sense of the urgency of the 
situation and what needs to be done. At the same time, 
however, they are not behaving in a way that is to be 
expected by people in their urgent situation. Diskin 
observed, "They are approaching a zero-sum situation, and yet 
they ask us to attack Hamas. This is a new development. We 
have never seen this before. They are desperate." 

--------------------------------------------- ----- 
DISKIN: SITUATION IN WEST BANK BETTER THAN IN GAZA 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 

7. (S) In the West Bank, Diskin said that ISA has established 
a very good working relationship with the Preventive Security 
Organization (PSO) and the General Intelligence Organization 
(GIO). Diskin said that the PSO shares with ISA almost all 
the intelligence that it collects. They understand that 
Israel's security is central to their survival in the 
struggle with Hamas in the West Bank. 

8. (S) While he described this overall relationship with the 
Palestinian security services in the West Bank as healthy, 
Diskin noted that Fatah did not react to the last set of 
Hamas attacks in the West Bank due to the current "mood" of 
GIO leader Tawfik Tirawi. Diskin explained that Tirawi (whom 
he described as psychopathic, cruel, dangerous and prone to 
extreme mood swings) is disaffected and feels that his status 
has declined, and that he is no longer respected by Abbas. 
Diskin claimed that Tirawi also feels that his relationship 
with Dahlan has deteriorated. Diskin said that he hopes to 
meet with Tirawi the week of June 17 to dissuade him from 
"doing stupid things, as he is trying to develop ties with 
the Dughmush family in the Gaza Strip." 

--------------------------------------------- ------------- 
DISKIN ON ABBAS: HE HAS FAILED. NOBODY CAN LEAD FATAH NOW 
--------------------------------------------- ------------- 

9. (S) Diskin said that Abbas views Fatah as weak and "on its 
last legs," and incapable of being rehabilitated within six 
months. Stressing that it was his own opinion (and not 
necessarily shared by the GOI), Diskin said that Abbas is 
starting to become a problem for Israel: "He's a paradox. 
He cannot function and do anything. Why is Fatah failing? 
Because Abbas has become the 'good guy' whom everyone is 
trying to do everything for in order to keep him alive. 
Everyone is afraid of the alternative, and yet Abbas is 
already talking about how he plans to retire from the 
political scene after his term ends in 2008. He knows he is 
weak and that he has failed. He has failed to rehabilitate 
Fatah. He did not start to take any action when he had the 
chance in 2004. Instead of choosing to be the leader for 
Fatah, he chose to be a national leader for all 
Palestinians." Diskin lamented that the current situation 
suggests that nobody can now assume leadership of Fatah. 
Dahlan, he said, can only lead in the Gaza Strip -- if that 
-- and Marwan Barghouti can lead in the West Bank, but not 
the Gaza Strip. "It is something in their blood," he said, 
"the leaders of the West Bank cannot rule the Palestinians in 
the Gaza Strip and vice versa." Diskin warned that 
Palestinian society is disintegrating, and that this bodes 
ill for Israel. He said that he has some ideas about how to 
address this that he wishes to discuss with PM Olmert, and 
would share with the Ambassador afterwards: "We have to give 
Fatah the conditions to succeed, but we cannot do this 
through your benchmarks (reftel)." 

--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
DISKIN ON ISA COUNTER-TUNNEL COOPERATION WITH EGYPTIANS 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 

TEL AVIV 00001732 003 OF 003 



10. (S) Responding to a question from the Ambassador, Diskin 
said that cooperation between Egyptian and Palestinian 
security forces recently led to the discovery of some tunnels 
in the Gaza Strip. He said the ISA occasionally hears that 
tunnels are found in the Gaza Strip, and while he is inclined 
to believe the information, he admitted that ISA cannot 
always verify it. Diskin said that ISA's cooperation with 
Egyptian security services has improved over the last two 
months after their respective delegations had met. That 
said, he claimed that fundamental challenges remain 
unresolved: "They react on the intelligence that we provide 
to them, but they are not proactive." He lamented that there 
has been no dramatic change in the tunnel situation, adding 
that there are still many tunnels running under the 
Philadelphi corridor. 

--------------------------------------------- ------------- 
DISKIN ON THE FAILED ATTACK AT KISSUFIM; THREATS ON FAYYAD 
--------------------------------------------- ------------- 

11. (S) Referring to the failed June 9 attempt by Palestinian 
militants to kidnap Israeli soldiers stationed at the 
Kissufim crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, Diskin 
said that Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Al-Aksa Martyrs 
Brigades carried out the attempt under PIJ leadership. He 
said that the militant who guided the attack was one of PIJ's 
main operatives in the northern Gaza Strip. Diskin said that 
the attack was staged against an empty post, but designed to 
appear dramatic. He admitted the attackers were 
operationally very creative, and that ISA had no indication 
that the attack was going to take place: "This was another 
ISA failure. We had no intelligence on the attack in 
advance." 

12. (S) Responding to the Ambassador's question, Diskin said 
that he had not seen any specific evidence about threats to 
PA Finance Minister Salam Fayyad. He observed, however, that 
as a former Fatah activist, Fayyad ought to be concerned 
about his own security. Diskin noted that the man thrown by 
Hamas militants from the roof of a 15-story building in the 
Gaza Strip the day before was a member of Force 17. 

********************************************* ******************** 
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. 
********************************************* ******************** 
JONES

...