Middle East

Israeli military official says low chances of war in 2017

A senior Israeli military officer says the army believes Middle East's chaos has weakened the country's enemies, creating a low probability of war involving Israel in 2017.

The official says the army concluded that neither the Hezbollah militants in Lebanon nor Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip are interested in sparking a new conflict.

The official spoke on Wednesday on condition of anonymity according to military protocol. He was sharing an official year-end intelligence assessment.

He says Hezbollah is mired in the Syrian civil war while Hamas has lost much of its support from the outside. Still, the official cautioned that an unexpected "dynamic of escalation" could always risk sparking a new conflict.

Israel fought a monthlong war with Hezbollah in 2006 and has since waged three wars with Hamas.