Israel has a new government (or will soon) and a new minister in charge of peace negotiations with the Palestinians, but Israel's military chiefs expect anything but peace in the near term. In fact, they are preparing for war.
An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officer from the Central Command told Army Radio on Thursday that a new analysis of the situation suggests it is far more likely the Palestinians will launch a new wave of terrorism than return to the negotiating table.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has been rebuffing peace overtures from Israel for the past two years. The officer stated that if US President Barack Obama is unable in his upcoming visit to strong-arm Israel into meeting Abbas' preconditions for talks, it is anticipated the Palestinians will turn to violence.
That is precisely the way the second intifada (or Oslo War) began in 2000, after Yasser Arafat did not receive 100 percent of what he demanded from the Israelis at Camp David.
The officer said a new uprising could also be sparked by renewed cross-border attacks on Israel from either Gaza or Lebanon.
In preparation for this, Israeli troops are currently undergoing regular training for brief, intense bouts of terrorist violence in urban settings.
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