dahlan - Kobi Gideon - April 10 2011
Mohammed Dahlan Photo by Kobi Gideon
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Nir Kafri
Amos Gilad Photo by Nir Kafri

Palestinian Authority strongman Mohammed Dahlan's mental health is rapidly deteriorating, the head of the Defense Ministry's political-security branch Maj. Gen. (res. ) Amos Gilad told an American diplomat in 2005, according to the latest documents released by WikiLeaks.

Dahlan, then minister for civil affairs in the Palestinian Authority, was responsible at the time for one of the Palestinian Authority's security organizations and was seen as one of Israel's key interlocutors in the territories, working directly with heads of the Shin Bet security service. Gilad described Dahlan's psychological condition in a meeting with Elizabeth Dibble, then a senior official at the State Department's Middle East desk. The meeting was reported in a message sent from the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv.

"Gilad described Dahlan as a man whose emotional and mental health was deteriorating to the point that he 'collapsed' in Gilad's arms when the latter met him on the evening of September 16," Dibble wrote. "Gilad described the meeting as follows: 'Dahlan was there with his daughter-in-law. I told him 'You are sick,' and he started screaming and shouting at me. He shouted for hours. We called a doctor and suggested he go to a hospital. He refused and said he had to speak to thousands of Palestinians on September 17. He then collapsed on his bed. He looked ghostly white ... I said, 'If you leave this room you will either be martyred or end up paralyzed.' He broke down in my arms and said he would go to hospital. We arranged a VIP room at a hospital in Tel Aviv and took him there in an ambulance with a police escort. The following day doctors said he had a slipped disc."

Gilad said King Abdullah of Jordan sent a helicopter within 30 minutes and flew him to Amman.

Although Dahlan's hospitalization was eventually reported in Israeli media, Gilad said the Israeli government was not responsible for the leak, fearing it would be used by other Palestinians to humiliate and undermine Dahlan. Gilad said he would never break his word to Dahlan, despite the latter being "extremist and unhelpful on the Rafah issue," Dibble wrote. She noted Gilad described Dahlan as "destructive," saying that Dahlan was behind the "elimination" of PA interior minister Nasser Yousef.