IDF intelligence: Syria not planning to strike Israel
By Israel Insider staff July 25, 2007
In a five-hour ministerial forum Tuesday focused on the northern front, and more specifically Syria's ballistic abilities, IDF intelligence reported that Damascus is not planning on attacking Israel.
"Syria is not geared to strike Israel. The Syrian army is deployed in a defensive posture aimed in case Israel launches an offensive on Syrian soil," representatives from Military Intelligence told the 11 members of the forum.
During the forum, which was formed a month and a half ago, intelligence officials discussed Syria's ballistic abilities while the IDF Home Front Command spoke on possible preparations if Syria decided to launch a missile attack on Israel's population centers.
"The representatives of the defense establishments presented various scenarios of attack on the home front in the case of a Syrian offensive," said one diplomatic source to Haaretz.
According to intelligence officials, however, Syria has not redeployed its missile units, which could be a sign that Damascus is not preparing for an offensive. If the units had been deployed, it could have been indicative of the opposite.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert noted Israel's hope that a Syrian miscalculation would not escalate the situation to war. He went on to say that, though Israel wishes to avoid conflict, the military must be prepared.
"Israel wants peace, but we must be prepared. We must not allow ourselves to be taken by surprise," said the prime minister, who also chairs the ministerial forum.
In a second ministerial forum aimed at implementing recommendations to fix government mistakes made during the Second Lebanon War, Olmert confirmed that the military has been training and working to improve upon past failures.
"The IDF of today is not the same as that of last year," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday.
"There is no doubt that over the last few weeks significant changes took place in the IDF in terms of training and equipment," said Olmert. "My colleagues and I are following the matter to restore full fitness to the IDF according to the important recommendations of the Winograd commission."
IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak had led a team responsible for advising the government on how to best implement the recommendations of the Winograd commission.
The ministers are also set to discuss a new law that will give the National Security Council (NSC) more decision-making power during wartime.
"The law will give the prime minister and the government quality means. The National Security Council will be able to operate during military and civilian emergency situations," Olmert said
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