The cable, sent from the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, undermined
assertions by Washington that the PA was in full control of the Gaza Strip.
As late as May 2007, a month before the Hamas takeover, then-U.S. security
coordinator, Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, told Congress that PA security forces
could defeat any Hamas challenge in the Gaza Strip.
In a January 2004 cable, however, consulate-general David Pearce warned
the White House that Hamas was establishing itself as an alternative to the
PA and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Pearce warned that Hamas was
winning elections throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip and conducting
Palestinian foreign policy.
PA Municipal Authority Minister Jamal Shubaki told U.S. diplomats that
Hamas has replaced the PA in the Gaza Strip. PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei
said he was advised not to visit the southern Gaza town of Rafah and that
Hamas operatives have held senior PA officials.
"I just visited Gaza," Shubaki said. "Hamas is in control there. There
is no [Palestinian] Authority in Gaza."
The cable does not recommend steps to counter Hamas domination in either
the Gaza Strip or West Bank. Dayton was appointed security coordinator,
responsible for the development of PA security forces, in 2005.