Yadlin: Israel would be ‘happy’ if Hamas takes over Gaza

Wikileaks cable reveals ex-MI chief dismissed Iran's influence over Hamas, said IDF could deal with Gaza as hostile state if Hamas ruled.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 20, 2010 12:53
2 minute read.
Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin.

Amos Yadlin 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

In what appears to have been a faulty intelligence assessment, outgoing head of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin said in the summer of 2007 that Israel would be “happy” if Hamas took over the Gaza Strip and if that happened Iran’s influence over Gaza would be insignificant, according to an American diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks on Monday.

The cable dated June 13, 2007 summarized a meeting between Yadlin and Richard Jones, the US ambassador at the time to Israel. Hamas violently took over Gaza several days later.

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In the cable, Yadlin is quoted as not reflecting the consensus government position in stating that “Israel would be ‘happy’ if Hamas took over Gaza because the IDF could then deal with Gaza as a hostile state.”

Yadlin also dismissed, during his meeting with the ambassador, the significance of an Iranian role in a Hamas-controlled Gaza "as long as they don't have a port." He is quoted as saying that it would be something Israel could deal with.

It is unclear what Yadlin meant when dismissing the significance of Iran’s hold over Gaza in absence of a port. According to recent intelligence assessments, Iran has successfully smuggled into Gaza long-range rockets capable of striking Tel Aviv by land and via tunnels under the Gaza-Egyptian border.

The day of his meeting with Jones, Hamas began its violent attacks against Fatah, culminating in its takeover of Gaza. Since the summer of 2007, Fatah has not held a presence in the Gaza Strip. According to the cable, Jones asked Yadlin if he thought that day’s attacks by Hamas against Fatah constituted the beginning of a takeover.



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Yadlin’s answer according to the cable was that “he did not think that day's Hamas attacks on Fatah security forces were part of a premeditated effort to wipe out Fatah in Gaza. Instead, they probably represented an initiative of the military wing with the tacit consent of Khaled Maashal in Damascus.”

As mentioned, several days later, Hamas had completed its takeover of the Gaza Strip.


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