France gave 'sensitive' intel to Palestinians during Second Intifada in 2000
[i24 News] France worked closely with Palestinian Authority during the late 1990's and 2000's, including during the Second Intifada ("uprising") against Israel, providing training and delivering "sensitive intelligence" to the PA's security services, a former officer in the French secret service told i24NEWS on Wednesday.
Speaking with i24NEWS defense correspondent Mattias Inbar on his French-language weekly Defense program, Pierre Martinet said that "France, via its secret service, trained Palestinian agents in France" and that the French government delivered "sensitive materials to the Palestinian administration via the diplomatic bag".
The diplomatic bag is an expression to describe a physical package that is used by a diplomatic mission to exchange correspondences with its home country. It cannot be officially scrutinized by another country’s border protection agencies and benefits from the same kind of diplomatic immunity as its owners.The ’bag’ can be anything, but is most often an actual suitcase.
"Unofficially we have collaborated with different [foreign] services, more notably with Palestine at different times. We worked with them on training and delivery of certain materials....through back-channel diplomacy," Martinet said.
The former secret service officer did not confirm who gave the orders to deliver the materials to the Palestinians, although he clarified that, according to the chain of command, this kind of operation had to implicate the highest levels of the French executive.
It is no secret that European powers including France, Italy, Germany, and the UK sought to strengthen Yasser Arafat during Second Intifada against Hamas, Inbar says.
In a sick, twisted way, I kind of miss Arafat.
In fact, secret diaries kept by Arafat and published earlier this year by the Italian L’Expresso magazine confirmed a long-rumored non-aggression pact between Italy and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), headed for decades by Arafat, protecting Rome from attacks by Palestinian terrorists in exchange for freedom of movement in the country for Palestinian terror factions.
Typical Europeans. All they care about is their own safety and they're willing to commit evil deeds to this end. Well, in 2000 there was hardly any Islamic terrorist threat in Europe. Appeasing Islamic terrorism certainly didn't work for them.
Martinet, who is today the director of London-based private security firm Wincorp, insisted the French dossiers were business-as-usual in international intelligence.
But he slammed the government's reliance on back channel diplomacy to prevent terrorist attacks at home as shortsighted.
"Direct prevention through counter-intelligence is crucial in stopping terrorist attacks. But in order to get faster results, we’ve relied on backchannel diplomacy. This leads to a very narrow, short-term kind of diplomacy, which will backfire," he said, drawing a direct link between terrorism in France and the actions of the French secret service in the 1990s.
Martinet revealed that "the French foreign service has a long tradition of taking different positions on and off the record," pointing as an example to French talks with Hezbollah just after the bombing of the Drakkar Army barracks in Beirut, in which 241 American and 58 French peacekeepers were killed.
"For many, it is difficult to understand that we can lead a military action on one side, and talk on the other -- it can seem almost surreal," Martinet said.
Posted by: Herb McCoy 2018-11-23