A U.S. Congressional Task Force report warns that Syria, Iran, Iraq, and the Palestinian Authority are cooperating in preparation for war with Israel. Syrian President Assad and Saddam Hussein of Iraq met secretly to this end in the spring of 1996. Other secret meetings have been held between the Syrian government and the Palestinian Authority, including agreements that the Palestinian police and other "armed elements" will cause "flare-ups in the Israeli interior in case of an escalation in the north." This is the first media revelation of the report, although it was released last month.
In an exclusive interview with Arutz-7 correspondent Yedidya Atlas, U.S. Congressman Jim Saxton (R, N.J.), who heads the Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, said that the American administration is making a mistake in not relating to the possibility of a break-out of war in the Middle East with more seriousness. Saxton said, "Because the American people want to hear that the peace process is succeeding, it becomes less difficult for the administration to brush aside possible threats to Israel, rather than deal with them directly.... According to this report, there is a clear and present danger to Israel and the Israeli people. By watching the policies of the former Israeli government and the current policies of the U.S. Government, one would think that things are just wonderful and that we have nothing to worry about in the Middle East, and all we have to do is make agreements like Hebron and everything will work out fine. But those of us in this Congressional Task Force believe the facts that are presented in this report... and that the [Clinton Administration] should recognize that the reality may not be the same as it would prefer to see..."
Excerpts from the Congressional Task Force report:
"Approaching the end of 1996, the Middle East may well be on the verge of a major regional war. Numerous sources in the region report that the supreme leaders -- both civilians and military -- in most Arab states, as well as in Iran and Pakistan are convinced that the present vulnerability of Israel is so great that there is a unique opportunity to, at the very least, begin the process leading to the destruction of Israel. These circumstances are considered to be a historic window of opportunity the Muslim World should not miss. Toward this end, several Arab states, as well as Iran and Pakistan, have been engaged in a frantic military build-up and active preparations in the last few months."
"In late May 1996, Teheran demonstrated how seriously Iran takes the possibility of dispatching forces to the Israeli front. Iran conducted its largest military exercise ever -- Velayat. The essence of Velayat was a multiple corps deep offensive in the aftermath of a long range advance identical to the distance between Iran and Israel. The objective of Velayat was to confirm Iran's ability to send a strategically effective expeditionary force -- the Velayat Force -- to contribute to a regional war against high-quality armies. The primary intended objective of the exercise is Israel."
"In mid-June, Iran and Syria signed a major
agreement specifically for the codification of their military cooperation against Israel.
By mid-August, Iraq was brought into this framework with the establishment of a tripartite
"joint command" specifically aimed to expedite the preparations for, and conduct
of, "a major war against Israel..." In late September, the Palestinian factor
was added to the joint preparations when the Palestinian Authority (PA) entered into a
major military agreement with Syria. Significantly, this agreement is between the PA, and
not the PLO, and Syria, thus explicitly committing the Palestinian forces in the
territories. The essence of the agreement is for the Palestinian "police" forces
and other armed elements (terrorist organizations) to flare-up the Israeli interior in
case of an escalation in the north.... In return, Syria will provide weapons and advanced
training to PLO units in the refugees camps in southern Lebanon, units disarmed as part of
the Israeli-Lebanese agreements. Meanwhile, the PLO's preparations for an imminent war are
evident. In Gaza, Arafat ordered the marked acceleration of the building of a personal
command bunker, four stories deep. Moreover, the PLO is rapidly building all over Gaza a
chain of command centers, ammunition and weapons-storage areas -- all of them underground
and well fortified to even withstand Israeli bombing and shelling. The PA's security
services are also accumulating large stockpiles of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons,
including missiles, even though they are forbidden by the Oslo Accords."
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