The diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks have revealed that Ehud Barak told a US Congressional delegation in June 2009 that he tried to coordinate Operation Cast Lead, the invasion and war waged by Israel on Gaza in December 2008/January 2009, with Egypt and the Palestinian Authority. According to Israeli Newspaper Ha’aretz, the Israeli Defence Minister said that he had “consulted with Egypt and the PA prior to Operation Cast Lead to see if they were willing to assume control of Gaza once Israel had defeated Hamas”.
The leaked document revealed that “Barak received negative answers from both”. During the discussions, Barak, it is claimed, “stressed the importance of continued consultations with both Egypt and Fatah” over the reconstruction of Gaza. The Defence Minister did not mention Sergeant Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier being held by Hamas.
The then Deputy US Ambassador to Israel wrote in his memo that Barak told the Congressional delegation of his feeling that “the Palestinian Authority is weak and lacks self-confidence, and that Gen. Dayton’s training helps bolster confidence.”
The documents also mentioned that leading Israeli politicians, including Barak and the former Foreign Secretary Tzipi Livni, expressed doubts over the ability of PA President Mahmoud Abbas to conclude peaceful negotiations and win the Hamas-Fatah conflict.
However, Palestinian Authority official Azzam El-Ahmad has denied the information claimed in the Wikileaks documents. The member of Fatah’s Central Committee said that neither the PA nor Egypt knew about Operation Cast Lead before it took place.