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.

Amos Yadlin 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Amos Yadlin 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
In what appears to have been a faulty assessment, the 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.
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This appeared in 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 to Israel at the time. Hamas violently took over Gaza several days later.
In the cable, Yadlin is quoted as contradicting the consensus in the Israeli government by stating that “Israel would be happy if Hamas took over Gaza because the IDF could then deal with Gaza as a hostile state.”
He also dismissed 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, doing so both across the Gaza- Egyptian border as well as under the border via tunnels.
The day of Yadlin’s meeting with Jones, Hamas began staging violent attacks against Fatah, culminating in its takeover of the Gaza Strip.
Since the summer of 2007, Fatah has not had a presence there.
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According to the cable, Jones asked Yadlin if he thought that day’s attacks by Hamas against Fatah constituted the beginning of a takeover. The Israeli’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 Mishal in Damascus.”
Yadlin also said Gaza as “not Israel’s main problem,” noting that it ranked fourth in his hierarchy of threats, behind Iran, Syria and Hizbullah.
He described Gaza as “hopeless for now,” commenting that the Palestinians had to realize that Hamas offered no solutions.