Crossfire War-Israel DM Barak States Hamas/Israel on Collision Course

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Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Gaza – Damascus WATCH – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre:

Hamas Rejects Israel Demand to End Arms Smuggling – Weapons Manufacturing – Israel DM Barak States Israel/Hamas on Collision Course – Israel PM Olmert Denies Offering Golan Heights – Iran-Syria Increase Military Relations – Ignore Warning from Israel FM Livni – Kashmir Separatist Leader Arrives in Islamabad

Night Watch: GAZA – No matter what level of negotiations are going on between Israel/Hamas-Syria, whether unofficial, official or secret all they have revealed is how far apart the parties are. It was always unrealistic to expect Israel would negotiate herself into non-existence nor was it realistic to expect Islamic militants are going to agree to end the reason for their existence, attacks of any size or kind against Israel. Even more significant there is no indication of regional powers, Damascus-Tehran of ending their training and weapons support of Palestinian militants or Hezbollah and even more significant this past week another government has been established in Beirut that is prepared to do the same. Some analysts have even observed there are signs Hezbollah is about to merge with Lebanon’s army. Another wave of war will do just that. Xinhua is reporting one of the Hamas negotiators in Cairo, Jamal Abu Hashem, has denounced, “The Israeli government of the occupation (Israel) for demanding a stopping of rocket attacks, suicide bombings and all forms of resistance. The Israeli occupation which tries to get as much achievements as possible without giving the Palestinians anything in return.” [XINHUA]

Jerusalem – Realizing the negotiations are at an end Israel Defense Minster Ehud Barak admitted Monday Israel and Hamas were on a collision course. Xinhua quoted him saying, “Fighting is taking place daily without cessation in the strip. I don’t know if we will have a ceasefire first or a confrontation but to those who want to hurry up and launch a wide-scale operation wouldn’t it first be worthwhile to exhaust negotiations?” Israel’s lead negotiator in Cairo, Major-General (res.) Amos Gilad, ended his several hours meeting on Sunday and returned to Jerusalem, sooner than I expected. As usual he had another fruitless meeting with Egypt’s Minister of Intelligence General Omar Suleiman with no hint of any progress since both sides’ positions are completely inflexible. I know of no other negotiation rounds or visits being scheduled and that may be why Barak stated the confrontation may be in a few days time. He is aware of course it is not just a confrontation with Hamas but also with militias and government which support Hamas, Hezbollah-Damascus-Tehran. [XINHUA]

I suspect Israel’s Defense Establishment decided quite some time ago not to conduct a pre-emptive strike as they did so successfully in June 1967 which enabled them to take the strategic Golan Heights from Syria in just six days. Jerusalem may have decided instead to begin its offensive as a result of one or more scenarios: either a large increase in the current attacks by Hamas against border terminals, an increase not only in the frequency but also in the range of rocket attacks on other cities like Ashdod-Qiryat Gat, or Hezbollah entering the conflict as they did in 2006. Jerusalem has already told Damascus when Hezbollah attacks Israel’s response will include an immediate attack on Syria.

Damascus – Concerning Syria Xinhua reports Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, speaking at a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, denied Damascus’ claim he offered to give the Golan back to Syria, “No obligations were offered-either spoken or in writing-to Syria.” The vague, quasi-secret, quasi-official negotiations between Jerusalem/Damascus, held at random in Ankara even had an ill defined beginning. The date of the next round of confrontational talks is indefinite, either next week or ten days unless of course the war has encompassed both governments by then and that would be my best guess. [XINHUA]

Tehran – Because Iran has not made these regional preparations for the past twenty-five years in pursuit of peace with the West-Israel or Islamic governments in the region with close relations with the West. Which is probably why Xinhua is reporting the Syrian government is openly ignoring the serious warnings made Thursday by Israel Foreign Minister Tzipi Livini that Damascus should “distance itself completely” from “problematic ties” with Tehran. That is virtually an ultimatum and frankly I doubt if Damascus even heard it since Syria Defense Minister Lieutenant-General Hassan Turkmani is still in Tehran now meeting with Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after his war planning sessions with Iran Defense Minister Brigadier General Mostafa Mohammad Najjar. Both Turkmani and Ahmadinejad are stating the opposite of what Livni has demanded, an increase in the military-strategic regional axis both governments made official in June 2006 on the eve of heavier fighting between Hamas/Israel/Hezbollah that year and such is the situation this year. As Iran-Syria are prepared Israel is prepared to make it more of a problem for Syria. Since Syria has more ballistic missiles than Hezbollah there will be more fighting in Syria than in Lebanon. Israeli armored tank columns could be headed for Damascus instead of toward Beirut. [XINHUA]

Islamabad – Fayaz Wani of NewsBlaze has just reported one of the leading Kashmiri separatists leaders, opposed to India’s control over the Muslim majority province, has just left for Islamabad. Mohammad Yasin Malik is Chairman of the pro-independence group the Jammu-Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and Pakistan has been the primary supporter of Islamic militant groups attacking India’s security forces. This could signal a further increase in attacks as has already taken place in May with the melting of the snow. That is always the situation every May but this year Pakistani troops have fired on Indian army positions twice violating the five year ceasefire and on another occasion Pakistani Rangers provided cover fire for Islamic infiltrators.

Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.