Wikileaks: US sought data on Israeli coded messages

Bush gov't desired information on PA and Hamas leaders, Israeli military officials, data on settlements and outposts in West Bank.

January 19, 2011 16:15
1 minute read.
President G.W. Bush with Olmert and Abbas

311_ Bush, olmert and abbas. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)


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The United States told its Middle East diplomats in 2008 to collect data on "encrypted Israeli communications" and create financial and "biometric" profiles of Palestinian leaders, Reuters reported on Wednesday, quoting a document recently released by WikiLeaks.

The document, written on October 31, 2008, and signed by former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, implies that the Bush administration worried about not having enough intelligence despite its close ties with Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Reuters said.

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US envoys were asked to form a complete overview of Israel's high-tech communications network, including Internet, cellphone, and state-run "information repositories associated with radio frequency identification enabled systems used for passports, government badges, and transportation systems."

The Bush administration also sought out private contact details on civilian and military officials, as well as their movement. They also wanted comprehensive details on "key PA and Hamas leaders and representative...the young guard in Gaza, the West Bank, and outside." 

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According to the needs of US analysts the document presented to American envoys in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and many Arab states with an extensive and prioritized list of information regarding the "Palestinian issues" brokered by the US administration.

The Bush government had desired "evidence of Government of Israel support for or opposition to actions to limit and/or reduce settlement and outpost growth" on land where Palestinians wished to establish a state.

The cable, which was written two months before Israel's offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, sought out "details on IDF operations underway or planned" against Palestinians fighting in the Strip, "including targeted assassinations and tactics/techniques used by ground and air units."

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