Israel has not responded to the Russian program. But Israeli officials
said the government has been concerned that PA officers would be taught to
collect intelligence on Israel in missions assigned by Moscow.
On Aug. 30, a senior Israeli defense official said Moscow sought to
exacerbate tensions between Israel and Syria. Amos Gilad, head of the
Defense Ministry's political-military department, said Russia fed false
reports to Syria of Israeli war plans in early 2007.
"During a certain period, the Russians acted in such a manner that the
Syrians thought Israel wanted to engage in a war against their country,"
Gilad said. "The Russians then stopped their incitement following
explanations relayed to them, whereby Syria had no intention of attacking
Israel, and Israel did not aim to take the initiative in a war against
Syria. This enabled a calming of tensions."
PA officials said about 120 Palestinian officers have been sent to
Russia for intelligence training. They said the officers came from the PA
Preventive Security Apparatus and would spend at least three months in
"They are getting the best training possible," a PA official said. "It
is a package that is more comprehensive than that received by other Arab
[On Sept. 2, the PA reported that it had foiled a Hamas coup and
captured several of the alleged plotters. A PA security statement said the
attempted coup was engineered by Hamas's Executive Force in wake of the
Islamic takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007.]
Officials said Russian intelligence training would help the PA fight the
rival Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. They said Hamas has succeeded in
infiltrating PA security agencies and establishing a military infrastructure
in the West Bank.
PSA has been deemed the lead agency to fight Hamas in the West Bank.
Hamas said PSA as well as PA General Intelligence were torturing Islamist