Israeli generals are planning for a possible massive invasion of Palestinian territories if the current Mideast cease-fire fails. A report published by the Jane?s Information Group in London says the goal would be to destroy Palestinian armed forces and the Palestinian Authority, forcing Chairman Yasser Arafat back into exile, where he spent 12 years after the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The invasion plan would be launched after another suicide bomb attack resulting in a large number of deaths, like the one at a Tel Aviv disco last month.
?That there is an Israeli contingency plan to re-occupy the Palestinian areas comes as no surprise at all,? says Francis Tusa, a defense analyst. ?That it is being pushed up the list and that it?s a leading option ? this is coming as a bit more of a surprise and a worrying one.?
The plan calls for air strikes by F-15 and F-16 fighter-bombers, a heavy artillery bombardment, and then an attack by a combined force of 30,000 men, including paratroopers, tank brigades and infantry. Israel?s Arab neighbors, Syria, Jordan and Egypt are expected to stay out of the fight. The report considers the possibility that Iraq might try to intervene with troops, which would then be destroyed by the Israeli airforce. It also states that Egypt could invade the Sinai peninsula, forcing Israel to call up its reserves. The report indicates that Israel expects up to 300 of its troops to die in such an attack, with Palestinian deaths in the thousands.
The Jane?s report indicates that the plan was presented to the Israeli cabinet on July 9. But Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dismissed the rumors of war Thursday, saying he has no plans to escalate the conflict. ?There is no imminent danger of war ? I also don?t see either a deterioration or escalation but I definitely see a situation in which terrorism continues,? he told reporters.
?People in the military get paid to make plans all the time," cautioned Hirsch Goodman, an Israeli military analyst. ?There are plans and there are plans.?
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said no such plan was ever submitted or discussed. ?I?m so happy to see that such an important journal has such a fertile imagination. It simply didn?t happen,? he told Israeli army radio.
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Meanwhile, Hassidic rabbis are publicly proclaiming that their Messiah will arrive soon. They claim that the Gulf War was described in precise detail in sacred Jewish texts as the event which occurs as the identity of Judaism?s King Messiah is revealed. They also say they that the impact of the Shoemaker- Levy 9 asteroid into Jupiter in 1994 was foretold in the Kaballa, Judaism's sacred book of mysticism, as the heavenly sign of the Messiah?s imminent arrival.
One rabbi explained, ?The Christian world needs to examine anew why the rabbis in the days of Jesus rejected him as being Judaism?s King Messiah. Who and what is King Messiah has been very much misrepresented to good Christians who have had little access to the original Hebrew texts and Laws which solely govern this matter for Judaism.?
?This is not just a matter of Faith. This circumstance has the highest certainty threshold in all of Jewish history,? says another rabbi.
In 1991 Hassidic rabbis of the Chabad Lubavitch sect issued a religious ruling stating that Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson was the Messiah. Rabbi Schneerson died in 1994, but this has not deterred these rabbis from continuing to make their proclamation.
Kaballistic writings teach that Judaism's King Messiah will be revealed and become known to only a few people in the world, and will later reappear to complete his tasks after his perceived passing.
For more on the Messiah Watch, click here.
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