(photo credit: Ariel Hermoni / Defense Ministry)
In the absence of a peace deal with Syria, Israel could find itself at war with its neighbor to the north, Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned on Monday.
Speaking at an annual gathering of top IDF officers, Barak said that it was crucial to open negotiations as soon as possible and to do so while the other side – Syria – perceived Israel as being strong.
The coming year, Barak said, would be one of many challenges but also of opportunities for peace with Syria and the Palestinians.
“In the absence of a deal with Syria we could reach an armed conflict
that could develop into a full-fledged war,” he said. “As is in the
Middle East, immediately after the war we will sit down and negotiate
exactly what we have been talking about for the past 15 years.”
Regarding Iran, Barak said that the Islamic Republic was the greatest
threat to world order and that while the United States was planning a
new round of tough sanctions it was doubtful that they would have the
“We can’t foresee the effectiveness of the sanctions and the chance of
the Americans recruiting the Chinese is also not great in light of the
developments in US-Chinese relations in recent days,” he said. “As I
have said in the past, all options are on the table, and I mean it.”