GSS Deputy Director pessimistic on deal for Shalit

Monday, August 07, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Israel’s General Security Service’s deputy director said yesterday that the talks within the Palestinian arena on a settlement regarding stopping the firing of Kassam rockets and the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit have not been fruitful so far.

In an intelligence briefing given to the cabinet yesterday, the deputy director said that Abu Mazen and Ismail Haniya are continuing to work on the issues in an attempt to come to a resolution, but progress had not been reached this week. “Abu Mazen’s usual weakness is evident in the internal chaos within the Palestinian Authority, the quelling of Hamas, and his ability to control the security forces.”

The deputy director added that the ones setting the tone in the arena is Hamas’ foreign office in Damascus, and their local leadership that does not show any flexibility on the issues of the Kassam rockets and the release of Shalit. Hamas’ headquarters in Damascus is pressing its military wing to an escalation in both Gaza and in Judea-Samaria. “We have 75 attack warnings per week. Only this week there were 250 rockets fired at Israel and that is despite great successes the Southern Command has had in foiling terrorist attacks.”

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