Senior defense officials expressed their support for the Annapolis peace conference during Wednesday's cabinet meeting, but stressed that Israel would have to make sure that the Palestinians keep their end of the bargain after the summit.
During the discussion, IDF and Shin Bet representatives presented to the ministers their predictions for the day after Annapolis, and warned of the possible scenarios that may unravel if the summit fails to jump-start diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinians.
"Israel should attend the Annapolis conference, but exercise responsibility and caution when discussing the concessions to the Palestinians," one official explained.
According to the officials, if the summit is not followed by a substantive peace process, this could lead to a collapse of Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad's pragmatic and moderate rule in the Palestinian Authority, and its consequent replacement by chaos and a Hamas takeover of the West Bank.
Alternatively, such failure might prompt the establishment of radical Islamist terror cells in the region.
The defense officials also warned of another trend that might develop if the summit does not yield the desired results - an increased international pressure on Israel to annex the Palestinian territories and establish a bi-national state within its borders.