U.S. Ordered Intel Campaign Against Israel

Middle East Newsline - February 14, 2011

LONDON [MENL] -- The United States ordered an espionage drive against Israel to determine whether it would oppose the rapid establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank.

A memorandum signed by then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ordered U.S. diplomats to step up intelligence efforts against Israel. The drive, ordered in 2008 by the administration of then-President George Bush, also demanded data on encrypted Israeli communications, particularly opposition to a Palestinian state and a freeze on Jewish construction in the West Bank.

"Evidence of government of Israel support for or opposition to actions to limit and/or reduce settlement and outpost growth," the U.S. embassy cable, released by Wikileaks, said.

The memorandum was relayed to U.S. diplomats throughout the Middle East. The Oct. 31, 2008 cable stressed the administration's priority to establish a Palestinian state throughout the West Bank and a halt to all Jewish activity in the area.

The American diplomats were also asked to gather evidence on Israeli military operations. The memorandum stressed the need for details on Israeli efforts to kill Palestinian insurgents.

The data on Israel was meant to be gathered from military and government communications. Ms. Rice asked the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv and other facilities to review Internet, cellular phone and govenrment communications, including passport data.

The U.S. effort also included information on Israeli civilian and military leaders. The State Department also ordered data on Palestinian Authority as well as Hamas leaders.