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SENIOR INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS: PEACE PROCESS IS IRREVERSIBLE

ISRAEL LINE
MONDAY, MARCH 6, 1995


  Senior intelligence officials presented their yearly intelligence
overview to the Cabinet during its weekly meeting Sunday, DAVAR
reported.
  The Head of the IDF's Intelligence Branch, Maj. General Uri
Saguy, was joined by officials from the Foreign Ministry, the
Mossad and the General Security Service. The intelligence officials
were reportedly in agreement on most points.
  Regarding the Palestinians, the officials said the peace process
is irreversible on both sides. They said PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat
has no alternative but to continue along the political track.
  For the peace process to continue, the officials estimated,
Arafat must act determinedly against enemies of peace.
  Maj. General Saguy reportedly said that Syrian President Hafez
el-Assad remains obligated to his strategic decision made in the
early 1990s to make peace with Israel.
  The officials emphasized that Assad's main objective is to remain
in control of Syria.  They said that if the Syrian leader fears
progress in the peace process may jeopardize his authority, then he
will stop the process.
  The officials added that even though the Middle East has made a
strategic change, many Arab countries - including Egypt and Syria -
continue to amass arms.
  According to the officials, Israel's biggest concern stems from
Iraqi and Iranian efforts to acquire non-conventional weapons. They
estimate that Iran will have a nuclear capability in three to five
years.
  The intelligence officials reportedly emphasized economic factors
in their analysis.
  The officials said Arab countries are concerned about Israel's
economic power and fear that Israel may dominate the region
economically.





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