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The head of the Shin Bet security service, Yuval Diskin, says he does not expect a wave of terror reminiscent of the second intifada after the upcoming peace summit in the United States, even if the conference is deemed a failure.

Speaking at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday, Diskin said that "the high expectations and possible failure of the summit could definitely spark high motivation for terror attacks [among Palestinian militants], but not with the intensity of the terror wave of October 2000." The Palestinian people were exhausted and lacked leadership, he said.

Diskin strongly objected to handing the responsibility for security in the West Bank over to Palestinian security forces and said the Palestinian forces were aware of their inability to maintain security there.

He told the committee that if the Palestinians had been responsible for security in the area in recent years they would have set up "a network of rockets" and launched sporadic attacks.

"The strategic and financial damage to Israel's security would have been dramatic," Diskin said.

He also criticized the delays in completing the separation fence. Diskin said that almost all would-be terrorists attempting to carry out attacks in Israel over the past year had entered with ease through large holes in the separation barrier around Jerusalem.