Fear of war with Syria preventing Gaza invasion

Friday, June 01, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Israeli military officials are so concerned by the possibility of war with Syria and its Lebanese proxy, Hizballah, this summer that they have nixed the idea of diverting forces for an invasion of the Gaza Strip.

A senior army officer told Israel’s Army Radio that a major ground operation against the Gaza-based terrorist infrastructure would severely deteriorate Israel’s ability to effectively handle a resurgence of cross-border violence in the north.

Syria has been observed making preparations for war with Israel, though Jerusalem does not believe its northern neighbor intends to initiate a confrontation. Nevertheless, a miscalculation by Syria or a renewal of Hizballah rocket fire could quickly pull both nations into armed conflict.

Meanwhile, defense officials have stated that the only way to eliminate the threat of terrorist rocket fire on communities in southern Israel is to enter Gaza in force.

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