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Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 11:42 GMT 12:42 UK
Israeli press fears new Syria tension
Israeli press

Papers in Israel are unanimous that a reported incursion into Syrian airspace by their country could lead to a serious ratcheting up of tension, with some warning of the possibility of war.

There is little doubt in the papers that the incident took place, and most say it threatens to destabilise an already fragile situation.

One writer thinks Israel is hoping to avoid "a Pandora's box" of international involvement by keeping silent.

REUVEN PEDATZUR IN HA'ARETZ

The person who decided to send the planes is well aware of the high level of tension and misunderstood the significance of penetrating Syria's airspace... Just like 40 years ago [before the Six-Day War] both sides could lose control over developments and war could break out.

YA'AKOV KATZ IN JERUSALEM POST

The IDF thinks Syria does not really want armed conflict with Israel but has been preparing for war. Syria might be planning to use this incident as an excuse to accuse Israel of an act of aggression that leads to war.

OFER SHELAH IN MA'ARIV

Dialogue between Israel and Syria has been complex and tough for many months... There is still a chance of a misunderstanding or a dead end in which one side concludes there is a need to move to a different kind of dialogue. If this happens, God forbid, we will remember this night.

AMOS HAREL IN HA'ARETZ

No-one expects President Bashar Assad to react with all-out war. It appears more likely he will look for indirect ways of getting revenge... But Israeli intelligence does not always understand the behaviour of the Syrian leader... His reactions could be very different from what Israel expects.

PROF EYAL ZISSER IN YEDIOT AHARONOT

There's a new fragile reality between the two countries since the Lebanon war... Every incident could lead to a major conflagration. It is to be hoped that the two countries will be wise enough to contain the incident - if indeed it happened.

JACKY HUGI IN MA'ARIV

Syria has no interest in a confrontation with Israel and will not seek gratuitous provocations. The incident shows the fragility of the situation in the Middle East. Tragically, it happened only 10 days after Israel's government said it saw no chance of a military confrontation with Syria.

ALEX FISHMAN IN YEDIOT AHARONOT

Since we are unable to say what lies behind this sortie, we can only hope that we can rely on the people who decided to do it... Declarations in Israel about the decline in tension with Syria were premature.

BEN KASPIT IN MA'ARIV

It is possible to assume that the Syrians didn't invent the incident and that if they had Israel would have taken the trouble to deny it. But Israel is silent, as is the US... The summer is over but the heat lingers on.

HERB KEINON IN JERUSALEM POST

If Israel admits to aerial activity over Syria it would open up a Pandora's Box... To prevent this, Jerusalem is keeping uncharacteristically mum, letting the Syrians enjoy a media circus today in the hope that international interest will fade if only one hand is clapping.




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