Jobs @ MG
‘Intifada to last until 2006’
|Israeli army's annual strategic
assessment has concluded that the violent confrontation with the
Palestinians could last until 2006 and the conflict could deteriorate into
a regional war, either as a result of escalation of the violence with the
Palestinians or because of a confrontation in the north with Hezbollah and
Syria, according to a report in Haaretz (16 August).
The assessment, based in part on Military Intelligence assessments, states
that the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Yasir Arafat, can at most
reach an agreement with Israel for a lull in the fighting, but even that
is not likely, since Arafat believes that time is on the Palestinians'
side. Furthermore, his domestic position in the face of Hamas and other
radical forces is likely to worsen, up to a complete loss of control on
The two ‘fronts’ - the Israeli-Palestinian and the northern one - are
‘stable but fragile,’ with internal balances, because both sides are
careful not to shatter them, the assessment says. Nonetheless, any serious
incident, could send either front into war.
According to the Planning Directorate, traditional military threats, like
a surprise pan-Arab attack such as happened in 1973, have been reduced.
However, a new kind of limited threat, typified by the Palestinians and
Hezbollah, could still lead Israel and its neighbours into war.
An offensive attack by Iran or Iraq and possible changes in the regimes in
Egypt and Jordan are not considered likely factors that could lead toward
war by 2006.
According to the Planning Directorate, Arafat will remain the main address
for the functioning of the Palestinian establishment. The Palestinian
Authority will not collapse, and Arafat will not lose his control over it.