Strange Bedfellows

“the London-based Al-Hayat daily reported that an Arab state had supplied Israel with highly detailed intelligence on Hamas leaders living in Damascus, Beirut, Tehran and Khartoum.

According to the paper, the intelligence service of the unnamed Arab country passed on the information response to a request by Mossad chief Meir Dagan. Dagan’s appeal came in the wake of a Hamas suicide bus bombing that left 16 dead in Be’er Sheva last month.

The intelligence reportedly included personal data – down to supper preferences – covering a number of the officials at the top of Israel’s most-wanted lists, headed by the ranking “diaspora” Hamas figure Khaled Mashal, his deputy Moussa Abu Marzouk, and others.

“We were not convinced initially,” said Osama Hamdan, Hamas chief in Lebanon, of the accuracy of the Al Hayat account. If true, he said, “This would be treason for an Arab security apparatus to be involved in this.”

However, he continued, the Sunday assassination had prompted Hamas to view the report in a new light. “Now, because of what happened yesterday or through other information, there are indications that this may be case,” Hamdan said.

Give and take between Israel and Arab intelligence

Haaretz commentator Yossi Melman, an authority on international intelligence, dismisses the Al-Hayat report as likely false. But he notes that cooperation between Israeli secret services and its Arab opposite numbers does exist.”

It is a strange and interesting world we live in. Much takes place beneath the surface.

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