Israel's poor communications with the Palestinian Authority had weakened the Arab government and strengthened resistance movement Hamas, former Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman said yesterday.
In a ceremony which saw Argaman replaced by Roman Bar yesterday, the outgoing spy chief said: "Poor dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and the steps taken by [Palestinian President] Abu Mazen, led to the weakening of the authority, whether economically or popularly."
"The current reality is that Hamas is strong, and the Palestinian Authority is weak. The relative calm that we have seen in recent years in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank] is misleading. There are attempts to carry out operations all the time. There is calm because all the operations are thwarted successfully, not from the absence of attempts."
Argaman also said that "Israel must find a way to cooperate with the Palestinian Authority and advance economic projects with international assistance." Israel must also "severely strike Hamas in Judea and Samaria and in the Gaza Strip as well as it's leadership abroad."