by Adam Gonn
JERUSALEM, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Israel will maintain its non- interference policy if the United States decides to strike Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons, analysts told Xinhua, noting the preparation taken in the country, such as limited draft of reservists and deployment of anti-aircraft and anti-missile batteries, are strictly for defensive purposes.
The chances of Israel taking part in a U.S. attack on Syria " are slim to none," as a disassociation policy is in the interest of both Israel and the United States, Jonathan Spyer, of the Interdisciplinary-Center in Herzliya, told Xinhua on Thursday. " Israel absolutely does not want to be involved in any attacks."
DEFENSIVE NOT OFFENSIVE
On Wednesday, the Israeli security cabinet approved a limited draft of reservists amid growing tensions surrounding a possible U. S. strike on Syria following an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government last week.
However, being different from last draft during the operation of Pillars of Defense last November, the reservists drafted this time are from defensive units, who are expected to fend off threats rather than launch a ground offensive.
Moshe Maoz, a professor of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said when it comes to the Syrian crisis, "Israel stands aloof and does not have any interests in this struggle."
He said while Israel has helped the Syrian rebels by taking in some wounded, taking part in a U.S. military strike on Syria "is the last thing that Israel should do."
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "we are not part of the civil war in Syria, but if we identify any attempt whatsoever to harm us, we will respond and we will respond with strength."
"Israel's concern is with the outcome (of a U.S. attack). If the (Syrian) regime acts in a limited way, everyone will forget and go on. But if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad retaliates heavily against Israel, this will be another story," Maoz said.
Spyer agreed with what Maoz said, adding that unless Israel is attacked, there is little chance of any Israeli participation in a U.S. attack on Syria.
There is another possibility that Assad will retaliate against other U.S. allies in the region, such as Turkey or Jordan, analysts said, adding that compared to Israel, Turkey's military capability is weaker.
Maoz noted that Syria's conventional military capabilities are very limited in comparison to Israeli army's technological superior. "Israel can really cause his (Assad's) collapse. Israel has such a military advantage," Maoz said.
Israel's "optimism" may also have resulted from Assad government's silence on two Israeli attacks on arms shipments to Hezbollah, one of which took place on the outskirts of Damascus.
Netanyahu maintained that Israel's only interest in the Syrian crisis is the prevention of advanced missiles being delivered to the Lebanese military party Hezbollah.
On Wednesday, Israeli officials warned Assad that if he considered ordering Hezbollah to attack Israel in retaliation for a U.S. attack, Israel would hold him responsible.