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Israeli army prepares for West Bank clashes

The Israeli military is preparing for the possibility of an outbreak of violence in the West Bank, following the collapse of direct peace talks

Saleh Naami in Gaza, Tuesday 14 Dec 2010
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The Israeli occupation force (IOF) is anticipating a rise in tensions in the West Bank following failed efforts to revive direct peace talks, according to Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot on Tuesday.

The report cited Israeli military sources alleging that the collapse of the relaunched peace process would lead to a gradual deterioration on the ground and eventually result in military clashes.

The sources also expect a decline in cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the aftermath of the failed talks. Accordingly, the report indicated that Israel must take steps to make the necessary preparations in case of a resurgent Palestinian resistance which has subsided recently due to the cooperation of the PA.

The Israeli military sources also touched on the need to preserve the current structure and leadership of the PA, noting that preservation of the status quo benefits both Israel and the US.

The daily made reference to an Israeli general who stressed that should Hezbollah strike at the Israeli heartland, the IOF would retaliate with ten times the force it used in the 2006 July war.

The general dismissed any claims that the Goldstone report, which accused Israel of war crimes in the Gaza war, would have any effect on the army's actions in a war against Hezbollah.

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