WikiLeaks exposé: Israel tried to coordinate Gaza war with Abbas
In diplomatic cable documenting 2009 meeting, Defense Minister Barak says Egypt, PA refuse to take over Gaza in case of Hamas defeat.
Israel tried to coordinate the Gaza war with the Palestinian Authority, classified diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks said on Sunday, adding that both the PA and Egypt refused to take control of the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.
The whistle-blowing website obtained some 250,000 diplomatic cables between the U.S. and its allies, which Washington had urged the site not to publish.
In a June 2009 meeting between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and a U.S. congressional delegation, Barak claimed that the Israeli government "had consulted with Egypt and Fatah prior to Operation Cast Lead, asking if they were willing to assume control of Gaza once Israel defeated Hamas."
"Not surprisingly," Barak said in the meeting, Israel "received negative answers from both."
While similar reports of such attempts to link the PA and Egypt to Israel's war with Hamas had already surfaced in the past, the cable released by WikiLeaks on Sunday represents the first documented proof of such a move.
In the document, Barak also expressed his feeling that "the Palestinian Authority is weak and lacks self-confidence, and that Gen. Dayton's training helps bolster confidence."
The meeting which the cable documents took place just days before U.S. President Barack Obama's Cairo speech, and a few weeks after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's first visit to the United States, a visit which revealed the deep differences between Obama and himself.
The cable also refers to what Barak describes as the debate within the Israeli cabinet in regards to a "development of a response to President Obama's upcoming speech in Cairo."
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