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Photo: Gil Yohanan
Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Photo: AP
Hamas head Khaled Mashaal
Photo: AP
Shin Bet chief warns of large-scale confrontation in Gaza
Diskin says that if moderate sources in Palestinian Authority do not get stronger, Israel must prepare for wide confrontation in Strip
Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin said Tuesday morning that “Israel must prepare for a wide military confrontation in the Strip, if moderate sources in the Palestinian Authority do not get stronger”.

 

Speaking at a Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Diskin outlined the Palestinians' efforts to arm and noted that, "If all fails and it become impossible to strengthen Fatah, Israel needs to prepare for a military option in Gaza. The situation in the Strip is not a flashing traffic light but a red, red, red, light. Israel has no good options in Gaza, there only bad options and we need to chose the least bad of all."


Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

 

Diskin described an enormous amount of weapon smuggling into the Gaza Strip through dozens of tunnels.

 

“Although the number of terror attacks this year following the disengagement is smaller, the important thing to look at is the amount of weapons and the significant strengthening of Hamas as a result of the disengagement,” he said.

 

Diskin also commented on the anticipated PA unity government. Speaking of Muhammed Shabir, the expected candidate for prime minister, Diskin said, “This is a man who is identified with Hamas and who originates from the organization.”

 

However, he added, “We don’t have any evidence of him being involved in terror in recent years.” Committee members said they were left with the feeling that Diskin was not excited about Shabir as a candidate.

 

Concerning the Bader Force which was intended to deploy into the Gaza Strip from Jericho, MK Silvan Shalom (Likud) said, “At the time, Sharon opposed bringing in the force since it is a Palestinian force, so naturally it would eventually turns its weapons against Israel.”

 

Livnat: Grim outlook, concessions dangerous for Israel 

MK Limor Livnat (Likud) said Diskin described a grim outlook on the events in Gaza in light of Olmert’s concessions, such as when he speaks of releasing prisoners, which would prove dangerous to Israel and “point at weakness”.

 

Likud MK Yuval Steinitz responded to comments made by Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee saying, "Egypt is adopting a deliberate policy of arming terror groups in Gaza and it is doing to us in the south what Syria did to us with Hizbullah in the north."

 

He said the only way to prevent future rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on Ashdod and Tel Aviv is to launch a large-scale operation there and recapture the Philadelphi Route on the Gaza-Egypt border.

 

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