THE ISRAEL REPORTSeptember/October
Translated by IMRA:
The following is an excerpt from a 27.8.99 article by Yediot Ahronot reporter, Roni Shaked:
Today there is already a difference of opinion regarding the merit of advancing Palestinian intelligence capabilities. In the GSS (Shabak) it is said that the American training helps in the struggle against terror. In Military Intelligence they think otherwise. The Palestinians, Military Intelligence maintains, also use the intelligence and knowledge against Israel.
According to a senior member of the Israeli defense establishment, the American-Palestinian connection hurts Israel - and in a big way. 'Every course advances them, raises their level, helps them to become more professional. The CIA invests in them, gives them good courses. They get fantastic equipment, not just from the USA, also from European countries. The problem is that they also use the equipment against us, instead of using it to trap terrorists. So, for example, in the area of surveillance, they have a surveillance unit that monitors Israeli targets. And if you have advanced equipment, there is no problem monitoring military communications networks, intelligence networks or cellular telephones.'
There is also criticism against the Americans and their view of the situation. 'The Americans see the Palestinians as partners who have to be strengthen to turn into an island of stability,' said the senior source in the defense establishment. 'According to the American thesis, the better Palestinian intelligence is, the more terrorists they capture and the stabler the peace. This is a naive assumption that ignores the conflict between us and the Palestinians. The Americans relate to this as if it were a conflict between the Israeli-Palestinian side against Hamas. They don't see that Arafat and Hamas are on the same side against Israel.'
Roni Shaked - Yediot Ahronot - 27.8.99