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Daily Israel Report

Israel Threatened in North, South

Ex-IDF General warns of summer war in Gaza, while Hizbullah threatens possible war from the north.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 4/11/2007, 11:17 AM

Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Tzvika Fogel, in the clearest warning yet of his long-running series of such warnings, says that though Israel chooses to ignore it, war can be expected in Gaza by this summer - and possibly within a month.

Fogel, a former chief of staff for the Southern Command, spoke this morning on Channel Ten television. He warned of two scenarios.  One is that Israel will "continue its ostrich-like stance" until military/terrorist forces in Gaza surprise-attack Israel.  A second alternative, if this does not happen by the summer, is that Israel will have no choice but to begin a full-scale offensive against the increasingly-strengthened Hamas-Fatah military capacity.

Gen. Fogel noted, as he and others have done many times in the past, the wide-scale smuggling network into Gaza that has been developed since Israel quit Gaza during the Disengagement in 2005. "During this period, the Palestinians have brought in anything they wanted through the tunnels they dug," he said, "and Hamas has built up its army in this time in preparation for the conflict with Israel."
Yet Israel does nothing, and would rather deal with prisoner exchanges and reinforcing communities


The repeated PA declarations of insistence on the full "right of return" for millions of Arabs to Israel, together with PA war readiness, were also cited by Fogel as indications that war appears close.

He had strong criticism of official Israel: "In the face of this Palestinian threat, Israel chooses to reinforce [its buildings], to close its eyes and hide it head in the sand... Ever since the ceasefire with Abu Mazen went into effect some four months ago, about 200 Kassam rockets have been fired from Gaza - almost two a day. Yet Israel does nothing, and would rather deal with prisoner exchanges and reinforcing communities."

Hizbullah, Too
On Israel's northern border, a high-ranking Hizbullah official says there is a possibility of war with Israel this summer. Hizbullah's Deputy Secretary-General Naim Kassam told The Guardian of London that the U.S. is "pushing Israel towards a violent clash."