Gilad: 'Collision Course with Syria'

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - Defense Ministry Diplomatic-Security Bureau chief Major General (ret.) Amos Gilad expects a confrontation with Syria in the near future.

"We're on a collision course with Syria," Gilad told participants at the annual Herzliya Conference.

"We need to try to reach a peace agreement with Syria," the general said because the alternative will be massive rocket fire on Tel Aviv.

Gilad said Syria actively supports Israel's enemies, supplying them with weapons, noting that the Katyusha rockets fired by Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006 were supplied by Syria, not Iran, though the two are closely allied.

"In the space of two years, we could face a hostile entity on our eastern border - from a nuclear Iran through Syria and down to Hezbollah and Hamas," he said.

Gilad said Israel must not be complacent because the border with Syria has been relatively quiet since the end of the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

Picture Syria armed with nuclear weapons, Gilad suggested, stressing that despite some analysts' perceptions, Syria was not weak.

According to Gilad, it would be easier to reach an agreement with Syria than with the Palestinians because of the seemingly irreparable rivalry between Hamas and Fatah.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has repeatedly stated that a peace deal would not get off the ground without Israel agreeing to cede the Golan Heights, a nonstarter with Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu, who according to the polls may be Israel's next prime minister.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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