Yossi Kuperwasser, who serves as director general at the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, leveled harsh criticism at the Shin Bet, and particularly at the National Security Agency's actions under former chief Ami Ayalon.
"The Israeli security forces cooperate blindly with their Palestinian counterparts," a Monday report by Yedioth Ahronoth quoted him as saying.
Kuperwasser, who holds the rank of brigadier general (res.), served as head of the Military Intelligence's Research and Assessment Division at the height of the al-Aqsa Intifada.
His unusual public statement was made during a testimony before the Jerusalem District Court, in a damages suit filed by terror victims' families against the Palestinian Authority.
Much of the criticism was aimed at the man who stood at the head of the organization at the onset of the Second Intifada, Major-General (res.) Ami Ayalon.
In the claim, filed at the Jerusalem District Court by Attorney Nitzana Darshan Leitner
and additional attorneys, the terror victims claim that the PA and its senior officials bear sole responsibility over executing the terror attacks and therefore, must pay the damages.
In his testimony, Kuperwasser determined that the PA knew of the terror attacks and was responsible for them. In the same breath, he disclosed his opinion on the Shin Bet.
"Ami Ayalon wrote that he would meet with Jibril Rajoub,
Mohammed Dahlan, Amin al-Hindi and that they would share information with him for terror-fighting purposes. Is that true?" Kupperwasser was asked by the attorney representing the Palestinian Authority, Yossi Arnon.
"That's true, there were meetings," answered Kuperwasser. "I think that the Palestinians shared partial, tendentious and incomplete information with the Shin Bet during these and other meetings and one of the reasons Shin Bet officials are presenting things in this fashion is their desire to cover up their inability to use this tool called the Palestinian security forces in supplying them with the purpose for which they exist: preventing terror.
"What happened to the Shin Bet
officials is that they fell in love with the Palestinians with whom they were in contact. That is simply a mistake. Personally, I was in contact with the same people and was not confused. I knew exactly what their concessions were and weren't."
Judge Moshe Drori
was surprised to hear these comments and even came to the Shin Bet's defense, calling Kuperwasser's statement, "harsh."
"You are speaking of Shin Bet officials, whose whole existence since the age of 21 is based on serving Israel."
Kuperwasser responded: "Yes, but Ami Ayalon did not receive Shin Bet training. I suggest not relying on Ayalon in regards to the Palestinians.
"The man was a former Navy chief who was brought into the Shin Bet. He knows nothing of the Palestinians." Ami Ayalon refused to responds to Kuperwasser's comments simply stating that they are "unworthy of a response."
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