IDF Chief Says Doesn't Expect New Intifada in Wake of Summit

Gabi Ashkenazi tells Knesset panel he does not expect terror organizations to try to torpedo the conference.

Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said on Tuesday that he does not expect another intifada to break out in the Palestinian territories following the Middle East peace summit set for next week in Annapolis, Maryland.

Ashkenazi said that even if the summit should fail, he doesn't expect an uprising, despite some speculations.

The military chief told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that "the Palestinians are undergoing a sobering process. The street is very sober, and there is an atmosphere of needing to deal with day-to-day troubles."

Ashkenazi did say he expects that terror organizations will attempt to torpedo the conference. "We are prepared for different possibilities."

Regarding the government's decision to release 441 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to the Palestinian Authority ahead of the summit, Ashkenazi said he does not oppose the release of Palestinian prisoners in general, yet he does not think prisoners from the Gaza Strip should be freed as long as abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit remains in captivity in the coastal territory.

"We are not giving enough of a response, we won't be able to continue this way for much longer," he said.