The cable which summarizes a meeting between the then US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones and Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin in June 2007, states that Diskin “shared his assessment of the current situation in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, painting a picture of a desperate, disorganized, and demoralized Fatah in the Gaza Strip, versus a well-organized and ascendant Hamas.”
While he didn’t foresee the coup that occurred days later, he expressed his opposition to arming forces within Fatah loyal to Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza, for fear that the weapons and equipment would end up in Hamas’ hands. General Dayton had offered to arm forces loyal to Fatah and allow them to fight Hamas.
Diskin discussed improving security cooperation with Egypt over the smuggling tunnels to Gaza. Diskin said the Egyptians “react on the intelligence that we provide to them, but they are not proactive.” He also praised the cooperation between Shin Bet and Palestinian security forces in the war on terror.
Diskin said that Fatah is on its “last legs,” and that the situation bodes ill for Israel.
Continuing his criticism of Dahlan, Diskin said “We are not even sure where he is. Fatah is in very bad shape in the Gaza Strip. We have received requests to train their forces in Egypt and Yemen.
“We would like them to get the training they need, and to be more powerful, but they do not have anyone to lead them,” he said.
Diskin said that Dahlan could lead Gaza but not the West Bank and that Marwan Barghouti could lead the West Bank but not Gaza. “It is something in their blood,” he said, “the leaders of the West Bank cannot rule the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and vice versa.”
Diskin noted that “they are approaching a zero-sum situation, and yet they ask us to attack Hamas. This is a new development. We have never seen this before. They are desperate.”
Diskin was full of praise for the Palestinian security services, saying that they cooperated with Shin bet and shared almost all the intelligence it collects. “They understand that Israel’s security is central to their survival in the struggle with Hamas in the West Bank.”