Israel ‘consulted’ with Egypt, Fatah before Gaza offensive

Sunday, November 28, 2010

TEL AVIV - Israel consulted with Egypt and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party prior to launching its offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip at the end of 2008, classified US diplomatic cables unveiled Sunday have revealed.

According to a cable sent from Tel Aviv and dated June 2, 2009, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak told a visiting US Congressional delegation that Israel had asked whether Egypt or Fatah would be willing to assume control of the Gaza Strip once Hamas was defeated.

“Not surprisingly, Barak said, the GOI (Government of Israel) received negative answers from both,” the cable said.

The cable did not quote Barak as giving any other details of the consultations Israel held with Cairo and Ramallah.

Israel launched its offensive against the Islamist Hamas and its allied militias at the end of 2008, following a spate of rocket attacks on Israeli towns and villages adjacent to the salient.

About 1,400 Palestinians, including civilians, were killed in the war, according to Palestinian human rights organisations, which also caused massive devastation in the enclave.

The hundreds of thousands of classified US documents were made public Sunday.

The New York Times, Guardian and German magazine Der Spiegel along with newspapers in France and Spain obtained the documents from self-proclaimed whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, which has refused to identify its source.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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