A man looks at banners of captured Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser, left, Gilad Shalit, center, and Eldad Regev, right, placed in protest outside the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem. Recent Israeli military reports say Syria is seriously considering war with Israel. Photo by Kevin Frayer/Associated Press.

Jerusalem – A new IDF Intelligence Branch report about the probability of war with Syria has been issued, in which senior IDF Intelligence officials assess that Syrian President Bashar Assad and his top political echelon have begin to seriously examine the viability of either going to war with Israel or launching a limited military operation against it.

According to a senior Israeli intelligence source, this constitutes an abrupt departure from past Syrian behavioral patterns and has resulted in a revision of Israeli military intelligence’s official assessment about the probability of war erupting with Syria, which is no longer defined as “low.”

For many years, Israeli military intelligence thought that Syria did not have a genuine military option against Israel.

According to this generally accepted view, the possibility of embarking on a war against Israel or launching a surprise attack for the purpose of limited gains was not taken seriously by the Syrian military leadership and was not within the range of its relevant options.

Now, a substantive change has taken place in that position. Officials in IDF intelligence now believe that military action has been raised as a realistic option and the Syrian leadership is seriously examining it.

Sources in Israeli military intelligence stress that at present the Syrians are only thinking about the possibility and have not proceeded to the operative stage of action. On the other hand there are those in Israeli military intelligence who warn that such thoughts generally lead to action.

Appearing on a radio interview with the Voice Of Israel newsreel on Thursday morning, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that “there is no basis for conducting peace negotiations with Syria because Syria is the main supporter of the Palestinian terrorist organizations”.

Olmert said that he did not rule out the possibility that Iran and Syria would continue trying to reactivate Hezbollah.

Meanwhile, reports from Lebanon are increasing of a massive infiltration of Syrian soldiers back into the country about a year and a half after the Syrian army was forced to leave Lebanon.

After about 30 years of Syria effectively acting as a conquering power in Lebanon, Lebanese intelligence agencies warn that hundreds of Syrian soldiers and intelligence officers are infiltrating back disguised as construction workers seeking jobs on the projects to rebuild the villages of southern Lebanon and the Dahiya neighborhood. The Syrian army withdrew from Lebanon in April 2005 as a result of heavy international pressure following the assassination of former prime minister Rafik el-Hariri about two years ago and the democratic “cedar revolution,” which brought Fouad Siniora to power.

Lebanese intelligence sources are worried about this phenomenon due to their concern that Syria will again interfere in Lebanese internal affairs – once more, by means of terror attacks and violence.

©The Bulletin 2006

David Bedein (born August 31, 1950) is an MSW, a community organizer by profession, a writer, and an investigative journalist. In 1987 he established the Israel Resource News Agency, with offices at the BeitAgronInt’lPressCenter in Jerusalem. He serves as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research. Mr. Bedein has also reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor RishonPhiladelphia InquirerJerusalem Post, and the Jewish World Review. For four years, Bedein was the Middle East correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered controversial Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Mr. Bedein is the author of Where Has All the Flour Gone? The Whims and Waste of UN Palestinian Refugee Policy. The book documents Bedein's years of investigative journalism focusing on the activities of UN agencies in Israel and the Middle East. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, in commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2010, the agency decided to focus on producing short movies, instead of monographs, and to film each aspect of the UNRWA investigations in a clear and cogent fashion. In that context, Bedein produced two documentary films on UNRWA: Inside the UNRWA Classroom and CampJihad in 2013 Bedein was active in the Israeli peace movement for over for 17 years. In the 1980s, Bedein went to Ethiopia as part of a delegation to investigate the impact of the famine on the Ethiopian Jewish community. Most recently, David Bedein's organization has developed Btselem Watch, with its own website whose purpose is to introduce professional criticism and feedback to leading organizations which are described as human rights groups that operate in the political domain. David has developed a speaker's bureau which is offering speeches and presentations, live or via Skype. Mr. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, the New Israel Fund, and United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Mr. Bedein has also reported on all of these events and organizations at www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com. Under the Direction of David Bedein The Center for Near East Policy Research and www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com have produced a number of investigative video productions. In July 2013 they released the film titled "Camp Jihad" allegedly showing activities and interviews in which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in its 'summer camps'. This was not the first time he dealt with this topic. UNRWA released an official rejection of these claims, claiming the summer camp shown, and the people involved are not affiliated with UNRWA. In a November 2013 meeting between US Secretary of State, John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, parts of this film were shown. A review of Bedein's new book, Roadblock to Peace How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict: UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, can be found here. Bedein has been involved in UNRWA Reform Initiative, which involves requests of donor nations to make reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein's legal counsel articulated these requested reforms in a letter to the British government DFID Agency which helps UNRWA.  In March 2014, Bedein participated in an informal panel at the British House of Commons with experts on UNRWA education. Since the publication of Bedein's book, Bedein has discovered several new findings concerning UNRWA, Islamic groups that fund UNRWA Jews killed Christ...in the Palestinian Authority Christian Education Texts Used in UNRWA Schools UNRWA Child Death Cult Education.



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