Monday, April 16, 2007

Schiff: avoiding preventive strike led to 2006 war

Haaretz military analyst Ze'ev Schiff writes that Israeli avoidance of a preventive strike against Hezbollah's weapons buildup led to the 2006 war.

Prime Ministers Barak and Sharon both wanted to focus on the Palestinian front and avoid opening a second front, Schiff writes, but "Hezbollah and Iran read things differently. They understood that Israel was incapable of properly handling combat on two fronts at the same time. Hezbollah acted on this assumption when it embarked on the kidnapping on July 12, 2006. A few weeks earlier it had not refrained from attacking the air force base on Mount Meron with rockets."

Schiff's conclusion: "It is a serious mistake to think that refraining from a reaction to the kidnapping of the soldiers in July would have spared us a war. The war would have arrived later, after greater incitement on the part of Hezbollah and Iran."

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