The Palestine Papers
Meeting Summary: Shaul Mofaz and Nasr Yousef
An English translation of a mid-2005 meeting between Israeli general Shaul Mofaz and Palestinian interior minister Nasr Yousef, in which they discuss security cooperation, notably the Israeli request that the PA assassinate Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades figure Hassan al-Madhoun.
Last Updated:13 Mar 2012 17:35

   (Please note that the stated date of this meeting is an estimation)

Mofaz: (?) which we talked about, Hassan Madhoun, we know his address and Rasheed abu Shabak knows that. Why don't you kill him? Hamas fired because of the elections and this is a challenge to you and a warning to Abu Mazen.

Yusuf: We gave instructions to Rasheed and will see.


Mofaz- Nasr Yusuf 2005, Tel Aviv

Mofaz: Between (?) security in Gaza and disengagement (?), progress in the work of Jihad and Hamas and no Palestinian activity to prevent these activities.


This situation cannot continue because we are on the way to implement GD and it will be implemented. But that cannot happen without a (ceasefire?)


Yusuf: We spoke about this issue and do not accept the situation


Mofaz: Nothing has changed


Yusuf: A lot has changed, but


With [our] circumstances and capabilities, and they're weak, a serious study must be conducted to strengthen the institution


Coordination between us is weak, and that applies to all cooperation levels, and our work is a consequence of yours.


Mofaz: What can we do?


Yusuf: Quick communication of information. You deal with everything on your own. We can take measures in the West Bank if you give us information. But you act and we pay the price, coordination and cooperation are weak and do not offer a basis for stability. Cooperation on the basis of a division of roles and cooperation for the sake of good security work.


Mofaz: What about Gaza?


Yusuf: Gaza is a product of Qabatia work. Stability was good. And we told you that capabilities are limited.


Mofaz: Qassam was before Qabatia. Hamas fired missiles before Qabatia.


Yusuf: We are making an effort in Gaza. There is a decline in missiles and effort is ongoing. Capabilities are limited, but for instance, in Khan Yunus, we resolved a problem without creating a new one: coordination on the ground and speed of coordination.


Mofaz: Don't make anything (?)

As we draw nearer to GD… we may have to deal with shootings differently.


Yusuf: We have not (settled?) the issue of GD and we’ll speak later.


Mofaz: (?) which we talked about, Hassan Madhoun, we know his address and Rasheed abu Shabak knows that. Why don't you kill him? Hamas fired because of the elections and this is a challenge to you and a warning to Abu Mazen.


Yusuf: We gave instructions to Rasheed and will see.

Mofaz: Since we spoke, he has been planning an operation, and that's 4 weeks ago, and we know that he wants to strike Qarni or Eretz. He is not Hamas and you can kill him.


Yusuf: We work, the country is not easy, our capabilities are limited, and you haven't offered anything.


Mofaz: I understand that nothing has been accomplished in the Strip.


Yusuf: Don't you acknowledge the effort made? And what of the decline?


Mofaz: There is an increase in violence. Non-adherence to Sharm.


Yusuf: You have not implemented Sharm for 3 months, and if we continue at this pace, we would not get anywhere.


Mofaz: Let's speak about GD.


It is in both parties' interest to co-ordinate the disengagement plan, but (?) the conditions of implementation. There will be no disengagement under fire, if the situation continues as it is, we will have to work against terrorism, all Sharm agreements, and all others, will be erased, which is why the no disengagement under fire principle is important.


Coordination, as we said last time, will be on 3 levels:

  1. Ministers
  2. From our side there will be a body from all the military arms: Shabak, army, led by a major-general of this level.
  3. Ground commanders: Such work begins during or at the beginning of the week

Schedule: stages are planned in co-ordination with the Palestinian side. Forces will be stationed in Gaza and trained to confront fire from all sides.


(?) the following forces,


1-    Control over the areas that (?)

2-    Preventative intelligence force responsible for preventing any (hostile?) action

3-    A force preventing any disruption of security or entry into vacated areas and their outskirts

4-    Palestinian control on the ground, and over areas surrounding withdrawal routes

5-    Intelligence co-operation

All threats must be stopped: missiles, explosive tunnels (these are the most dangerous)


Yusuf: That’s a good plan. Regarding the three operation levels, and the body headed by Major-General Sami, what are its duties?


Mofaz: It receives (lessons/ training?) on intelligence and field work to provide coordinated support for this body. It plans and follows-up.

It is responsible for,



Intelligence exchange


Yusuf: Let’s define a mechanism for the continuation of this body and of all the levels (outlined), so as to develop this exchange and cooperate further.


Mofaz: We meet on a weekly basis


Yusuf: Regarding security work on the ground to monitor the situation


Mofaz: I’ve not spoken of settlers’ homes yet. Some facilities will not be destroyed and must not be vandalized.


Yusuf: It is in our interest to protect them.

For a successful withdrawal, our forces must be prepared on the levels of training and capabilities. No harm in a joint plan and maneuver to implement Gaza. There must be a redirection of armament capabilities.


Mofaz: There will be no joint training


Yusuf: Armament is the main thing


Mofaz: As I’ve already said, a cabinet decision would not allow weapons


Yusuf: How are we to do it otherwise?


Mofaz: You have enough arms


Yusuf: We have no arms


Mofaz: Transfer forces from the West Bank to Gaza


Yusuf: 600 kalashnikovs + 500 kalashnikovs, and that’s in the West Bank and Gaza


Mofaz: Take Hamas’s weapons


Yusuf: How can I collect weapons without [the necessary] force


Mofaz: Before any talk of a disengagement plan, no weapons can be given [and not without] a cabinet decision

But if you want [to use] other non-offensive means (before stopping... I will exempt you?)


Yusuf: When our capabilities were good we controlled the situation


Mofaz: Control the tunnels and collect weapons


Yusuf: Do you want me to smuggle arms? That’s impractical. Security is our role

The best equipped one among our soldiers has 100 bullets! I will not open a confrontation I can’t close. You must reconsider your position regarding arms on a cabinet level


Mofaz: I will not recommend giving you arms. Work with whatever force you have. You have enough and you have a mandate


Yusuf: Democracy needs force


Mofaz: Rasheed has thousands of weapons, and so does Musa Arafat


Yusuf: 50P 500 weapons which are barely enough to cover his forces’ needs. And Musa Arafat has no more than 300- 400 rifles. I can give you the information. The weapons he has are over 20 years old. They came from Beirut


Mofaz: In Gaza, you have over 10.000 pieces, so round-up. Rasheed has trained and armed men, and so does Musa


Yusuf: Musa Arafat is over

(?) he has... and all are at the borders. (You/ I?) have seized Musa Arafat’s factory.

Musa and the institution go hand in hand


Major-General: .... (regarding the arms with Jihadists)


(Ephraim?): There is not a single weapon in Jericho. If you have any information, give it to us, and give us lists


Major-General: .... Tulkarem


Yusuf: You have not provided information on this matter. I have given information to Ziyad and the intelligence, but your people said that they have no information. Consequently, we have not been able to contact Jihad


Major-General: We have only entered Tulkarem once...


Mofaz: Every fugitive whose weapons you’ve not seized (?) will not enter the Palestinian services. Would you agree that we should seize the weapons instead?


Yusuf: Give me the information and I will get them


Major-General: I will give you the information


Mofaz: If you do nothing within a week, I will come in and seize them myself. Agreed


Yusuf: I will tell you whether or not I am capable. And if I was to say I’m not able


Mofaz: How long?


Yusuf: Enough to contact people and Jihad elements in a district under your control. We need time to contact them.


Mofaz: Let’s see how you get on. I will give you names, and if you don’t deal with them, we will.

The situation in Tulkarem, it seems that the fugitives and those who opened fire were not taken [arrested?] which means that not everyone has handed in their weapons and your information is wrong. I won’t wait


(Ephraim?): Your presence in this area is symbolic


Yusuf: Jenin: retreat so we can impose control over WB GD


Mofaz: We are with the handover of cities, but there are issues we’d agreed upon regarding fugitives and on which you’ve not delivered


Yusuf: The problem wasn’t with the Jihad cell. We are still working on that front. The Jihad leadership is also working. You’ve not issued any ground instructions. They’re in their locations and you’re preventing our movement


Mofaz: How much time do you need?


Yusuf: Give instructions and we will move. If you don’t act (??)


Mofaz: (?) the cell information (?) executing an operation within 1948 territory. I’m prepared to transfer names to you. If you don’t arrest them within 10 days, I will


Yusuf: I will not arrest them. I’ll only confiscate their weapons. Give me information


Major-General: He wants to give them 10 days, then I’ll get the weapons and give you a new mission


Yusuf: you will not get in and let me work my way


Mofaz: OK, but if there’s a ticking bomb, we will act to defend our citizens


Yusuf: We don’t have any information about a ticking bomb. If you have information, you have to report it to me within 24 hours so I can deal with it


Mofaz: OK, we will reach an agreement


→ Cities’ handover: Transfer of forces in cities with arms, you will have to do what it takes to seize these weapons

This must not be linked to the issue of cities’ handover. That would be impractical and we would not get out of this situation


Major-General: We’ve received no information about the seizing of weapons in Jericho.


Yusuf: We seized 4 pieces (?). This must not be linked to the issue of withdrawal from cities. Control is good.


(Ephraim?): Your presence is symbolic. What’s the difference between Jericho and Ramallah today?


Mofaz: The problem is in Galilee


Yusuf: But Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jenin, they’re important. We are concerned about the seizing of weapons as a matter of national interest. But this requires time and we mustn’t link disengagement to (?). Don’t exaggerate about things that do not represent a problem on the ground

The fugitives don’t trust you. You arrested one who wasn’t armed in Nablus, and killed one in (?)

Nonetheless, the operation must not be stopped. I’ve taken a legal pledge from them not to operate. On that basis, I can arrest them.


Mofaz: We can make progress if I’ve seen more done on arms


Yusuf: That’s what we want, and let us work our way


Mofaz: We’ll see your work after the transfer of names


Yusuf: That must not halt the operation. Things must proceed in parallel


Mofaz: The weapons are directed against you


Yusuf: Yes, the weapons are against us. They are our problem, not yours. Let’s move forward on the cities


(Ephraim?): There can be no GD without WB


Mofaz: Don’t link the cities to the GD plan


Yusuf: We will move ahead with GD, but GD’s success does not (?) cities


Mofaz: But no link


Yusuf: To generate a climate of trust, we must advance swiftly in the West Bank, and not stop at petty matters. I understand your concern, but don’t exaggerate. I would understand [if this was about] some main issues. But to call the whole operation off because of a few weapons which are my problem [! ]We must not turn this into an obstacle. If we feel that there is a danger to you, then I will respond by force.


Mofaz: I believe you.


Yusuf: That is my problem, let’s move forward

(?) generated suspicion and mistrust, but if there’s no real danger, let’s go forward. Let’s have intelligence co-operation to deal with the dangers, but let’s not respond


Mofaz: (?) Let’s agree the following,

→ Coordinate next week: on the level of ministers, then committees (Yusuf agrees)

The Palestinian team will be headed by (Yusuf interjects that he would ask Abu Mazin)


Yusuf: To disengage cities, to create trust


Mofaz: First agreement over arms


Yusuf: Yes, arms are a problem for us


Mofaz: I want results


Yusuf: I need to build an apparatus and a working structure. But dealing with the situation does not mean waiting: tell me of any rifle that represents a danger and I’ll act immediately. As for what is not a danger to you, I will deal with it in my own time, and let’s move in the cities

Let’s move on all the tracks, since there’s no danger to you


Mofaz: West Bank cities are in need of a government decree. I believe you. I will go to the cabinet with this approach and with information and recommend a serious handover of cities


Yusuf: Three issues for the cabinet meeting

1-    What you said regarding the handover of cities (although not all arms have been seized we will give you a chance)

2-    The institution’s arms (Mofaz: this stands no chance of success)

3-    Tawfeeq al-Teerawi


Mofaz: About Tawfeeq, our answer is “no”


Yusuf: I want active officials, Teerawi is active, and I want him in Gaza


Mofaz: Is Rasheed active?


Yusuf: We’ll give him a try.


Mofaz: The most important thing and the basis is the GD plan (?)


Yusuf: Let’s start implementing (?) on the arming of the institution. The West Bank’s location is such that it’s no danger to you


Major-General: Trust is built on action. If you act against a cell, that would be a proof. Act in Gaza and Khan Yunis


Mofaz: What of the 4 names, have you arrested any of them?


Yusuf: We’re working. Be patient, they’ll do nothing


Mofaz: Hassan Madhoun will stage an operation

Ghazi Atiyyeh

Ghazi abu Ta’ameh


Major-General: The list of fugitives from Fateh in Tulkarem numbers 21 with weapons, 18 of whom have been captured. If there’s an error, we’ll fix it


Yusuf: Fateh list in Tulkarem is 45. The rest are Jihad and Hamas

From the 45, we seized 18 rifles in Tulkarem, 14 pistols, and 18 grenades


Major-General: I’ll give you the lists tomorrow


Yusuf: We’ll work on co-ordination


Mofaz: Next week we meet and you give us the name of the officer in charge on Friday


Yusuf: The arms and Tawfeeq


Mofaz: I replied in the negative to both


Yusuf: We need Tawfeeq



Shabak, planning, (?), Kaplinsky, Major-General Mackey -head of planning, Uri -Secretary to the Chief of Staff , Secretary to the Head of Planning


Hazem Ataullah, Mohammed Rajab, Jamal a. (Zayed?), Sami Darduna, (Sami/ Samahi?)


Kaplinsky, we have a new complex (plan/ issue?) before us. Talks are important.

The first meeting to determine (?) security co-ordination, its nature and level.

The two sides are of the view that co-ordination is important for meeting objectives.

Some issues are open. Three co-ordination levels:


→ Ministers

→ Chamber

→ Our level: security co-ordination (?)


Jamal abu Zayed: (?) open, optimism

Vision, goal, plans, all depend on co-ordination

Our units’ condition

We have a plan (?). It depends on information from security co-ordination

Talk of Palestinian security

Regular meetings, pre-defined schedules

A chance for success if there is commitment

Security co-ordination leads to serious planning

A preliminary plan

C-ordination objectives


Lieutenant-General Becker

Beginning and end of withdrawal (Schedule)




There is goodwill

Withdrawal is a fundamental step

The goal is maintaining calm

Starting security co-ordination

→Co-ordination groups

→Disengagement itself: Co-ordination is important for both sides, but is not a condition. No disengagement under fire. Otherwise, military intervention

We will give you information on anyone who objects to the lull and want action on your part

Stationing forces by the settlements to prevent operations and protect properties

No looting + preventing Qassams, etc. Co-ordination will be on the level of security

Covering every point on the ground to ensure an accurate deployment

Next meeting we want to define co-ordination at the level of the brigade, and squad, and a permanent contact point for field co-ordination

A person who co-ordinates with the apparatuses, a permanent contact

Disengagement schedule

15/8 Begin to vacate by force. Before that, vacation is voluntary

Settlements- 3 weeks +/-

Within a week, troops transferred north of the Bank


There are those who oppose disengagement

To date, we have not decided which settlement to begin with. That would largely depend on the situation on the ground

A field co-ordination apparatus is needed



What is required is the rebuilding and re-arming of our forces

We have taken important steps to unify our security services

From (?), to (?), soldiers, training

We need to build hope



Planning team

→All the apparatuses

→Plan components: the Israeli side is able to bring defeat or success to the plan. We need information to prevent surprise

Security co-ordination: Security depends on sharing

(Plan components) as outlined in Jericho



Next meeting, we need practical planning

We could give you the concepts

We will prepare the plan in the next meeting


Jamal: A common operation room between DCC + DCO commanders that meets regularly



Important suggestion for consideration. Co-ordination will be on the level of the unit, the brigade, and the battalion.


Jamal: The question of arms, ammunition. The arms are directed against us, not you



Meeting in 10 days.

Reporting information from the co-ordination bureau


A good meeting. Both sides know the importance of co-ordination. Meetings on disengagement will continue.




Benina: Colonel, advisor on international law

Dagan: Operations- Central

Brigadier-General Decker: Strategic planning

Lieutenant-Colonel Don: Withdrawal operations in the South


Major-General Mackey: This meeting is a continuation of the first meeting. It will discuss co-operation at all levels. I will give you the agendas.


The situation prior to disengagement. This is a critical period that would determine what happens before disengagement. (??) terrorism in Gaza and the West Bank. We must see that calm is there before we can continue with co-ordination over disengagement.


We are moving forward with co-operation, (political, or on the field) and the meeting was very useful. We had begun coordinating disengagement. Next week, there will be a meeting between the commander in the West Bank and Nidhal Oudeh. But before any co-ordination, a stop must be put to terrorism. That’s what’s coming.


Major-General Jamal: Terrorism cannot be stopped over night.


Mackey: How do we envision co-ordination?

It depends on the operation programme. There will be more details as we go forward, from one location to another.


Colonel: Security co-ordination levels:

Political: Minister to minister

Higher military level (Ariel and you)

Location commander level and priority level

Prior to disengagement a joint operation room will be set up at the level of squad and brigade.


Stages: before, during, after

Before: As calm is maintained, opposition dealt with, terrorism prevented from impeding peace, etc., smuggling and fire exchange prevented


During: Stopping terrorism during this period

Separating (?) from (?) and deploying troops on both sides

Preventing any terrorist operations on the roads

Preventing Palestinians from holding demonstrations near settlements


(Israeli security?) can enter Palestinian cities

Handover of the area to the Palestinian side. Preventing looting and vandalism

Handover of remaining camps

Daily life on the ground

Handover of Karni and transfer of goods

(Civil/ daily?) life during disengagement. This will be a new era. There must be a media operation aimed at preparing people for disengagement, both in Gaza and the West Bank (?). There won’t be permanent closure. You will be informed of this location by location (?) a special meeting to discuss these details will be held as we draw closer to the implementation phase.


Jamal: Does the curfew apply to [our] forces?


Mackey: There is a difference between the movement of citizens and that of troops. The movement of troops is conducted in co-ordination [with us]. It is subject to the security situation.


Arafat: Security co-ordination is important and it is proceeding well on the field. Plans must be implemented.


Mackey: We are in the first stage. On the level of security control on the ground, we want co-ordination. We will inform you of the dates as we come to know them. We will be able to corroborate our forces and coordinate withdrawal with you on the basis of what we say. I stress that co-ordination is subject to the security situation.


Jamal: There won’t be withdrawal under fire. Let’s not waste time that can be focused on co-ordination on the ground. We need to know your plans so we can draw ours.


[Diagram- See the original document, p. 4]


3 forces:

1-deployment at the borders to prevent (infiltration?)

2- preventing any fire exchange

3- Handover forces

 How will co-operation take place?

Our committee- phone calls

Squad: conversation + joint-operations room between DCO and RSC before the elections

Joint Major-General room that speaks the language with the whole squad. This is the first of its kind since 1994.

Joint wireless network

Field patrols covering all the territory

All this depends on the security situation


The difference between the West Bank and Gaza. Since this does not only affect the Northern Bank, but the entire Bank. All roads will be closed. There must be co-ordination with West Bank cities.


(?) The same as the concept of “Corridors” in Gaza.

All mines will be removed


Jamal: We will start with the easiest


Major-General: Co-ordination will continue. Determining which settlement will be subject to the possibility of joint success


What we require


1-   We will deploy a large force to the area, hundreds of vehicles, and thousands of soldiers. We expect to maintain security.

2-   August preparations, and the violence that would halt our work.

3-   (?)

4-   Needs


Security goods will be subject to customs


Jamal: We demand exemption from that.





Translator’s Notes:


For the sake of accuracy, the document is transcribed as it is, unedited, with no linguistic corrections or improvements.


Due to the state of the handwriting in the original minutes, a number of words remain illegible. They appear in the transcript as a question mark in brackets.