The United States will not use Israel as its active military ally in the course of the Iraqi operation, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said following his visit to Washington.
The Minister stressed that the Israeli air-force bases would not be deployed by the anti-terrorist coalition headed by the United States to receive planes conducting raids into Iraqi targets.
Mofaz emphasized that nevertheless the United Sates had confirmed its readiness to do what was necessary to help Israel provide its security in view of a possible missile attack by Iraq.
America fears that Israel's previously declared intentions to participate in the operation against Iraq would make it problematic for Washington to recruit Arab countries to join the anti-Iraqi coalition. According to observers, that explains why the Iraqi Defense Ministry denies its involvement in the planned operation.
Nevertheless, according to the latest reports, starting from January 15, 2003, Israel's anti-aircraft defense will be put on high alert.