Yuval Diskin, the new head of Israel’s clandestine domestic security agency, the Shin Bet (GSS), made his first appearance before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee today (Tuesday). He assumed his post on Sunday, succeeding Avi Dichter.

Diskin painted a bleak picture of what he expects to be Israel’s security situation after the explusion. He cited, for one thing, the possibility that terrorists would begin firing missiles into Israel from northern Samaria. He also noted the problems Israel would face combating Hamas, if that terror group becomes part of the official body governing the Palestinian Authority.

“Northern Samaria without the IDF," Diskin told the committee, "means terror and the firing of missiles” at Israeli targets. It would leave the IDF without “an effective method of fighting terror in the region.”

Diskin also pointed out the dangers of handing over the Philadelphi route on the Gaza-Egyptian border to the PA, in the event that IDF forces withdraw totally from the Gaza district. He took the line of his predecessor, Avi Dichter, who opposed the government’s plan to abandon the route to PA forces and rely on beefed-up Egyptian forces to secure the border from their side.

Another serious problem facing Israel is the growing strength of terror organizations in Gaza, particularly Hamas. Diskin said that if Hamas becomes involved politically in governing the Palestinian Authority, Israel would have difficulty targeting its leaders as it has done in the past. He said it would be easier for Israel to deal with Hamas when it functions primarily as a terror group.

Recent polls show Hamas scoring big gains in the upcoming PA elections scheduled for July 17. The elections are scheduled for one month before the government plans to forcibly evict 9,000 Jews from their homes in Gaza and northern Samaria.

Hamas made significant inroads in last month’s municipal elections in the PA, even in areas considered to be outside its power base in Gaza. In Kalkilye, a PA-controlled city that lies in the heart of Israel’s heavily populated coastal plan, Hamas won all 15 seats on the city council.

Diskin presented a pessimistic view of PA chief Mahmoud Abbas’ efforts to fight terror. “His leadership is weak. He wants to [fight terror] but can’t,” he said. According to Diskin’s assessment, Abbas will neither fight terror nor give up the Palestinians’ claim to the “right of return” which if implemented, would flood Israel with hundreds of thousands of Arab "refugees," and their descendants, from the 1948 and 1967 wars.

Diskin warned that Israel might soon be faced with a new wave of Arab terror. He said his agency “must be ready for a new outbreak of terror, in order to defend the citizens of the State of Israel, and make it clear that terror does not pay.”

The chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, MK Yuval Shteinitz (Likud), expressed concern over Diskin’s assessment. “We have heard a severe warning regarding what awaits us in the future. The terrorist organizations are preparing a new wave of bloodshed and the head of the Shin Bet has said this in the sharpest and clearest way,” Steinitz said.