Israeli intelligence: U.S. attack on Iraq to start in February; Al Qaeda plans to hit Jewish targets

Published December 24th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Israel's Military Intelligence chief Major General Aharon Ze'evi told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee ‎Tuesday‎ that ‎he expects the United States to attack Iraq at the beginning of February, shortly after the U.S. government reviews the U.N. inspectors' weapons report expected to be presented by January 27.  


Ze'evi added that in contrast with the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq has not issued particularly harsh statements against Israel. Instead, Iraq has issued general statements saying that it will attack whomever attacks it first.  


Ze'evi estimated that the chances of an Iraqi preemptive strike with nonconventional weapons are low, since such a move would reveal it has the materials in its possession despite declarations to the contrary, Israel Radio reported.  


The Israeli intelligence chief added that Al-Qaeda had changed its pattern and is now focusing on Jewish and Israeli targets. According to him, Al Qaeda network has penetrated into Palestinian areas, where a number of cells have been established. The cells have been most active in the Gaza Strip. ( 

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