Mahmoud Abbas 311.
(photo credit: MUHAMMED MUHEISEN ( AP))
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad said last year that Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas “will not survive politically” past the year
2011, according to a US diplomatic cable released Monday.
Gilad, who heads the Defense Ministry's Diplomatic-Security Bureau, went
on to state that Abbas faces “unprecedented criticism within the
Palestinian Authority over his handling of the Goldstone report.” The
cable detailed a November 16, 2009 cable in which US Assistant Secretary
of Defense for International Security Affairs, Ambassador Alexander
Vershbow met with Israel defense officials.
US-Israel relations weathered 'a rocky start'
Gilad explained that this criticism from within the PA, coupled with “a
stubborn Hamas” had considerably weakened the PA president.
During the same meeting, when the defense officials called for a halt to work on the Iranian nuclear site at Qom, Gilad said that Teheran would “never agree to anything that contradicted its overall strategic goal of achieving a nuclear weapons capability.”
He also expressed concern about Russian readiness to support the tough sanctions on Iran that Israel is proposing.
Also present at the meeting was Military Intelligence chief Brig.-Gen. Yossi Baidatz, who offered his assessment on Syria. He said that if a peace deal were to be brokered between Israel and Syria, Damascus would likely “pull away from Iran's orbit.” According to Baidatz, Assad “ultimately wants it all,” in that he is angling to keep good relations with Iran and Hizbullah, but strengthen ties with the US.
Baidatz assessed that if Assad had to “choose one thing, it would likely be peace with Israel."