A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
August 11 , 2007 Barak Changes Strategic Plans Speaks to Rice
The Syrians have learned the major lesson of last year's war Š that Israel is very vulnerable to missile attacks and that the Israeli Air Force only has a limited ability to stop the attacks. As a result, Syria is producing thousands of missiles a year, many with the ability of hitting targets throughout Israel. As a result, it looks like the age of the tank might be back. It would seem that Minister of Defense Barak is pushing the IDF be prepared for deep and rapid armored advances into Syria or Lebanon. Barak believes that only by attacking deeply and rapidly Israel can stop missile fire. That doctrine would explain Barak's plan to increase the size of the land force dramatically, a plan met with some skepticism by military observers.
Barak spoke to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tonight. His speech followed reports in Yediot Achranot (IsraelÕs most popular newspaper), that Barak was against any negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, claiming that they were not a serious partner. Barak denied the report to Rice and stated that he supports negotiations with Abbas and considers political progress essential.
The cabinet passed the budget for next year 21-5. The meeting lasted most of the day. Cabinet members from Shas and Minister of Transportation Mofaz voted against the budget. Mofaz was angry about the 150 million shekel cut in the budget from department for road safety. This was problematic, after weekend of 7 deaths from traffic accidents. However last year only 20% of the budget of the department was used. Independent observers consider the budget reasonable.
Israeli television showed dramatic pictures today taken from the security cameras in the Old City from the attack on Friday on two security guards. The pictures show the perpetrator sneaking up on the two guards. He manages to grab the gun from the holster of the guard (the holster was not closed) and try to run away. The guard goes after him, and even though the perpetrator now has a loaded weapon, the guard charges forward, the would be terrorist fails at first to fire the gun, and the two begin to scuffle. The gun goes off and wounds the first guard. The cameras then show a chase through the alleys of the Christian quarter where the second guard and the thief exchange fire at close range until the guard gets off a kill shot, dropping the thief.