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July 18, 2012

Israeli intel chief on Sinai, Syria

JERUSALEM (UPI) -- Israel's military intelligence chief Tuesday told the Knesset the army has prevented more than 10 fatal terror attacks from the Sinai Peninsula.

Maj. Gen. Aviv Kohavi revealed the details in an in-depth briefing before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, discussing the Sinai terror threat, the situation in Egypt and Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

"Recently we cracked down on more than 10 terror infrastructures preventing fatal attacks occurring. At present other terror infrastructures in the Sinai are under our surveillance," Maariv quoted Kohavi as saying.

Kohavi said the upheaval in Egypt is expected to continue for some time, adding the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in the recent elections ushered in an age of political Islam. He noted the military rulers in Egypt will continue to balance power in the country in the foreseeable future, the Hebrew daily said.

Turning to Syria, Kohavi warned it is only a matter of time before President Bashar Assad falls, saying it could take anywhere from two months to two years.

Israeli intelligence has not yet recognized a properly organized Syrian opposition group capable of leading the uprising. Instead there are multiple small groups with different ideologies, he said.

Both Hezbollah and Lebanon are preparing for the day after Assad's ouster, he said. He warned once Assad is out of the picture the Golan Heights could become another Sinai, with anti-Israel operations threatening the country because of the growing presence of global jihadists in Syria.

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