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Ex-Mossad Head: Peace Talks were Bungled

Meir Dagan pins little hope on negotiations with Palestinian Authority, says now is not the time for Iran strike.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/30/2013, 1:35 PM

Meir Dagan
Meir Dagan
Flash 90

Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad intelligence agency, said in an interview published Tuesday that the negotiations vis-a-vis the Palestinian Authority (PA) were poorly handled and therefore do not have much chance of succeeding.

"This should have been handled differently,” he explained. “We should have conducted secret negotiations with the Arab League, and only then begun open negotiations with the PA. The problem of Jerusalem, for instance, is not a PA problem but a problem of the entire Arab world. At least two states, like Jordan and Saudi Arabia, need to be brought on board, in order to give backing to any move.”

The PA and Israel have common reasons to want to advance the talks, Dagan opined. These include “the strengthening of Islam, the Iranian problem and the weakening of the PA. All these can give a boost, but I do not have much hope for the negotiations that began tonight.”

Regarding Syria, Dagan said that Israel need not fear “a few dozen Al Qaeda terrorists along the fence.” It is the Syrian army that gives Israel a reason to worry, he said, “and as far as Israel is concerned, Assad needs to go home as soon as possible.”

Dagan said that the military regime in Egypt is a good thing for Israel, and that Jordan is also in a good situation. “The regime is stable and strong, and the Hashemite monarchy is in full control of the kingdom.”

“At this time,” Dagan added, “Israel has no need to attack in Iran. We have not yet reached that situation. When the reality changes, western intelligence will know everything. Today, an attack means uniting the Iranian nation, which is currently disunited, against Israel – and this includes a war. At this time, it will give us nothing.”