Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak offered the view this week that the next round of Six-Power talks with Iran taking place on May 23 in Baghdad would lead nowhere, throwing cold water on the current optimism.As for US media reports of a lessening in war tensions over Iran because of the internal debate in Israel over an independent attack, they were soon overtaken by significant military steps embarked on Tuesday, May 1, by the US, Israel and Iran.The large-scale Israel Defense Forces war game on the borders of Syria (Golan) and Lebanon was quickly followed by naval drills along Iran’s southern Persian Gulf coast by its border guards. Tehran was making good on the policy agreed with Syrian and Hizballah allies in early 2011 to counter any Western or Israel military movement in the region with a comparable response.IDF drilled a strengthened, proactive presence in the North to meet al Qaeda’s looming presence and expanding operations next door, especially in Syria, and the threat of the Syrian civil war spilling over into Lebanon.According to intelligence received, the Lebanese Shiite Hizballah plans to lash out against Israel in the hope of recovering its waning popular support as a result of its tight bonds with the hated Bashar Assad. Snipers are to pick off Israelis in cross-border fire and so provoke a major firestorm that will take the world’s attention away from the savagery in Syria.Just as Israel estimates that the Galilee Panhandle and Golan could become flashpoints for exchanges of cross-border fire, so too Iran is taking into account that an operation to destroy its nuclear facilities may also entail landings on its southern coast by American and Israel special forces, and maybe others too.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to arrive at the Likud party meeting next Sunday and announce the date of the next Israeli elections.September 4 is one of the dates agreed upon by many officials - Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon said during a conference held by TheMarker on Tuesday that the elections will take place in the beginning of September.
Should the elections take place in September, the Likud primaries would be expected to take place in June.
Anticipating the coming elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is already meeting strategic advisers and survey experts, a political source said.
"Netanyahu's associates are pressing him to push up the elections," the source said.
"Whichever way you look at it, the government will not make it to the end of the year," a Likud source said.