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Wednesday, May 11, 2005
COS Ya'alon: not clear disengagement worth it. Oslo was a Trojan horse

Interview with Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Brig.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon
Amnon Dankner and Ron Leshem (Maariv-Hebrew, 11 May 2005)
[With thanks to Daily News Alert - Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs]

Q: Oslo was a huge deception exercise by Arafat?
A: I didn't see any indication with Arafat - either at Oslo or after
Oslo - of any readiness to recognize our right to exist as a Jewish state.
All I saw was the exact opposite. Also, the clauses in the PLO Charter were
never cancelled. Already in 1995, as head of Israeli military intelligence,
I began to ask a number of questions. How did Faisal al-Husseini say it?:
"Oslo was a Trojan horse." I accept that that was their intention.

Q: What will happen the day after disengagement?
A: It is not yet clear, it cannot be decided if it is worth it for
us or not worth it.

Q: What about Iran?
A: If Iran achieves a nuclear umbrella that will hover like a cloud
over the entire region, then it will be more brazen and it could be that
there will be regimes that will be swept along with it. Already today, Iran
wants to export revolution, it wants Islamic states according to Sharia law.
It is undermining the Jordanian regime, the Egyptian regime, the regimes in
the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia.

Q: Are the Iranians far from reaching a bomb?
A: My assessment is that they are a year away, a year and a half
away, from the point at which they can produce nuclear fuel by themselves.
Just recently, it became clear to us that they received 12 cruise missiles -
with a range of 3,000 kilometers - from the previous regime in Ukraine.

Q: What do we know about the murder of [former Lebanese prime
minister] Hariri?
A: All the indications point to Syrian responsibility.

Q: What about Osama bin Laden? How is it possible that intelligence
organizations don't know where he is?
A: No, that is not true. I don't think that they don't know where he
is. There is an operational difficulty to grab him for many reasons. But it
is not true that they don't know where he is.

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