Israeli officials have said over the weekend that despite what the Syrians believe, Israel has no intention to attack Syria. This statement comes in reaction to the words of President Bashar Assad who said that his country was ready for an Israeli offensive at any moment.
An unnamed senior Israeli official said that “Israel has no hostile intentions toward Syria. We have no plans to initiate conflict." The official said that the comments by Assad to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anba over the weekend were “disturbing,” and added that the level of alertness of the Israel Defense Forces on the Golan Heights near the Syrian border has been high since the outbreak of war in Lebanon during the summer.
According to the interview given by Assad, Syria is “preparing for an Israeli attack at any moment." Assad added that “Israel had given up on the peace process even though most of the issues between the two countries had been resolved.”
Over the past weeks, since the end of war in Lebanon, President Assad has been back and forth on statements offering peace on one hand, and aggressive statements of threat and war on the other hand.
Israel, for its part, has maintained a line of non-aggression towards Syria since the war despite the military level of alert, but has also sent mixed messages as to its readiness to negotiate for peace with Syria as long as it keeps supplying Hizballah in Lebanon and hosting and supporting Palestinian terror groups in Damascus.
President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt has also chimed in on the current Middle East situation over the weekend saying that “the Middle East is on the verge of exploding." Mubarak said these words to an Egyptian army journal in a story marking 33 years since the Yom Kippur War.
Mubarak also spoke about the situation within the Palestinian Authority and urged both Hamas and Fatah to cease the hostilities between them and enter into peace talks as soon as possible, saying that the current infighting between them could spark a greater conflict in the area.