Efforts to renew talks with Palestinians resume
Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom warned yesterday that Israel might respond with a military strike to any sign if Syria's chemical weapons ending up in the wrong hands.
Tensions along Israel's northern border are rising. Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom warned yesterday that Israel might respond with a military strike to any sign that Syria's chemical weapons might end up in the wrong hands as far as Israel was concerned.
Shalom confirmed a report that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a meeting last week with defense chiefs to discuss the Syrian civil war and the status of the chemical arsenal held by President Bashar al-Assad's forces. Israel and NATO countries say that Syria is holding chemical weapons at four sites on its territory. Syria usually avoids responding directly about whether it possesses chemical weapons, but says that if it has them, it will keep them safe and use them only in the event of external aggression.
The meeting with the defense chiefs last Wednesday was not officially disclosed, and was considered unusual because of its timing - the day after the elections. In an interview with “IDF Radio" (Galei Zahal), Shalom said that if Syria's chemicals weapons reach Hizbullah or rebels fighting Assad's army, "This would be a dramatic change in the capabilities of these organizations."
Shalom said that such a development would be "crossing every red line, which would require a different approach, including even a military strike." He added, "The basic principle is that this must not happen. The moment we begin to realize that this is about to happen, we'll have to take decisions."
Iron Dome deployed in the north
Channel 2 News reports that Syrian rebels are closing in on the chemical weapons development sites at A-Sapir and Damascus, and aired pictures of an Iron Dome battery deployed in the north.
The IDF spokesman confirmed the report that two Iron Dome batteries had been transferred to the Haifa area, but said, "This is not a specific security situation," but part of a routine rotation of the batteries.
At yesterday's cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said, "We must look around us, at what is happening in Iran and its proxies and at what is happening in other areas, with the deadly weapons in Syria, which is coming apart. The Middle East is not waiting on the results of the elections and it will not stop during the formation of the government. In the east, north and south, everything is in ferment and we must be prepared."
For its part, on Saturday, Iran said that it would consider any attack on Syria as an attack on itself.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 28, 2013
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013
You comment was recieved and soon will be published.
Thank you for posting your comment, which will be reviewed for publication.
Load more comments
Contacts resume despite Monday's murder by a gunman of Baruch Mizrahi near Hebron.
Aryeh Deri: Shas won't sit in gov't with Lapid
The Shas leader told "Globes" the coalition must change its attitude to the poor.
Combat cameramen disprove Palestinian propaganda
A unit of highly trained combat soldiers uses cameras to document military operations.
Truth is proving stranger than folktale as Turkey's spins out of Prime Minister Erdogan's control.
Prof. Zvi Eckstein supports NIS 3.30-3.40/$ floor rate
The former deputy Bank of Israel Governor is the first senior figure from the financial system to advocate a floor rate.
2014 will be year of change
Forces reshaping the Middle East are coming to a head, with Russia taking a close interest, and the West seemingly indifferent.
Gains and losses for Middle East secularists
Recent developments in Egypt, Syria and Turkey have clarified some issues, and obfuscated others.
Developing robots for warfare
Israeli research sees the future battlefield dominated by robots and unmanned devices.
Geneva changes Middle East strategic map
As the consequences of the nuclear agreement with Iran emerge, regional powers are scrambling to adapt.
Egypt has no time to lose
Unless economic reforms are introduced quickly, the country is liable to relapse into Islamic extremism.
Strange goings on in Turkey
Two recent decisions by Turkish prime minister Erdoğan make it look as though he is losing his grip.
See you in six months, Rouhani
Israel may look isolated over the nuclear deal with Iran, but the cards could yet fall its way.
China is changing
The Third Plenum of the Communist Party of the Peoples' Republic of China marks a turning-point in all areas of Chinese life - with consequences for Israel.
French gov't proposes building 2 Tel Aviv light rail lines
The Green Line from Herzliya to Holon and the Purple Line from Kiryat Ono to Tel Aviv would cost NIS 30 billion to build.
Israel's factious coalition looks wobbly on Iran
Besides US opposition, the state of Israel's government makes an attack on Iran unlikely.
Budget cuts threaten 10,000 defense industry jobs
Senior executives warn many factories are in danger of closing due to the drying up of defense ministry's orders.