Barak. Talked with Cairo and Ramallah
Photo: Yaron Brener
WikiLeaks: Israel wanted PA to take Gaza
WikiLeaks document says Defense Minister Ehud Barak consulted with Fatah, Egypt, asked if they could take over control of Gaza Strip after expected Israeli victory during Operation Cast Lead, but met with refusal

WikiLeaks documents, released Sunday in various newspapers, reveal that Defense Minister Ehud Barak tried to coordinate Operation Cast Lead with the Palestinian Authority and Egypt.


The information comes from a document from the US ambassador in Tel Aviv which refers to a meeting Barak held with US members of Congress.


The document, written at the beginning of June 2009, notes that Barak said the PA was weak and had no self-confidence. He added that then US Security Coordinator for Israel and Palestine General Keith Dayton was trying to improve PA confidence.



The defense minister added that Israel had consulted Egypt and the PA before the operation against Gaza began, according to the document. Barak asked whether Egypt or Fatah were willing to take over control of the Gaza Strip after Israel's expected victory over Hamas, but received negative responses from both.


He emphasized the importance of continued consultation with both Egypt and Fatah regarding rebuilding Gaza, and requested they refrained from making any connection between an agreement over Gaza and Gilad Shalit, the abducted IDF soldier.


The documents also reveal Israel's anxiety regarding its nuclear monopoly in the region, its willingness to attack Iran independently, and its untiring attempts to influence US policy.


According to documents published by the British newspaper The Guardian, the defense minister estimated in June 2009 that there was a window of "between six and 18 months from now in which stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons might still be viable". After that, Barak said, "any military solution would result in unacceptable collateral damage."



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