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Syrian President Assad. Not interested in war? Photo: AFP
Syrian President Assad. Not interested in war? Photo: AFP

Olmert: War with Syria not in the cards

Prime minister tells cabinet Israel is not planning an attack, and neither is Syria. However, he says, 'We must prepare for any scenario because someone might mistakenly think that there will be an offensive and a war no one is interested in'

Attila Somfalvi
Published: 08.08.07, 11:15 / Israel News

A war with Syria is not expected to break out, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday morning during a special cabinet meeting which dealt with the home front's preparedness for another war.


Israel, the prime minister said, does not plan to attack – and neither does Syria.


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"But there is concern that someone might mistakenly think that there will be an offensive and a war which no one is interested in," he added. "Therefore, we must prepare for any scenario, so that Israel can be ready."


In order to calm the other side, Olmert noted that such meetings were being held "in order to prepare for any scenario, and nonetheless, Israel is trying to avoid drawing the wrong conclusions."


During the meeting the ministers were briefed on the current situation of the home front, mainly in the face of the missile threat from the north and the northeast.


The ministers also heard reports on the progress made in the different issues revealed in the state comptroller's report and the other scathing reports on the Second Lebanon War, including defense of hazardous materials.  


Over the past year, and particularly in the past few weeks, Syria has been conveying mixed messages to Israel. One the one hand, President Bashar Assad has called for peace negotiations more than once, but on the other hand, he has been threatening the Jewish state with the weapon of "resistance" until the Golan Heights return to Syria.


Meanwhile, Israeli decision makers are also losing sleep over the possibility of a renewed escalation with Hizbullah. One of the scenarios refers to a combined confrontation against Assad, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Hamas in Gaza, backed byIran.


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