A U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks suggests that Palestinian leaders and Egypt were told by Israel that it was going to attack the Gaza Strip before the war began two years ago.

The cable cites Defence Minister Ehud Barak as telling a U.S. congressional delegation that Israel “had consulted with Egypt and Fatah prior to Operation Cast Lead, asking if they were willing to assume control of Gaza once Israel defeated Hamas.”

According to the June 2, 2009, cable, Mr. Barak said both rejected the offer.

Israeli officials would not comment on the leaks on Monday.

Fatah is the party that dominates Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ West Bank-based government. Hamas is the Islamic militant movement that wrested control of Gaza from Fatah forces more than three years ago.

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