[Freemanlist2] IDF: No Gaza ground operation due to fear of war with Syria - Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff

Freeman Center For Strategic Studies bernards at sbcglobal.net
Sun Jun 3 09:24:27 CDT 2007


IDF: No Gaza ground operation due to fear of war with Syria
By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondents Last update - 
06:21 01/06/2007
www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/865763.html

The main reason the Israel Defense Forces is not currently recommending a 
major ground operation in the Gaza Strip is fear that war might break out 
with Syria this summer, IDF sources say.

This argument is rarely mentioned publicly, in part because intelligence 
analysts are still uncertain about whether Syrian President Bashar Assad 
intends to start a war or is merely trying to pressure Israel to resume 
peace talks. But Syria has clearly been preparing for the possibility of 
war, both through troop training and major arms deals.

As a result, the IDF believes it must also be ready for this possibility, 
and excessive activity on the southern front would undermine its 
capabilities in the north. From the army's perspective, Syria is the biggest 
threat; the Palestinian front is secondary.

The army is also concerned that miscalculations of the enemy's intentions, 
on either side of the border, could lead to war between Syria and Israel 
even if neither side wants it. Precisely this scenario was the subject of a 
major military exercise last month. 



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