JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel on Saturday ruled out war with Syria following a spike in tensions with its northern neighbour over an air strike on Syrian territory in early September.
“There is no danger of war,” Amos Gila, political advisor to Israel’s defence ministry, told state radio.
Gila, a reservist general, told the radio that the army’s priority on the occupied Golan Heights was “to return to full operational capacity in order to prepare for any contingency in the future”.
However, he said, “there is no danger of direct confrontation between Israel and Syria because the two countries are not interested”.
Gila also dismissed recent air alerts which have forced Israel to scramble jets as “isolated incidents of no consequence because the two countries don’t want war”.
Israeli fighters scrambled on Thursday for the third time in a week after Syrian helicopters were detected flying over Syrian territory near the border, military sources said.
A day earlier, radar spotted a potential enemy flying from Syria only to discover it to be a flock of migratory birds.
Tensions have soared on Israel’s border with Syria since Damascus said its air defences fired on Israeli warplanes that dropped munitions deep inside its territory in the early hours of September 6.
US and British press reports said Israeli warplanes bombarded a secret military site inside Syria after first consulting Washington. Israel has maintained an official wall of silence on the action.