President Shimon Peres, soldiers in North 311.
(photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)
Israel is increasingly concerned with the ongoing demonstrations in Syria and
the possibility that Damascus or Hezbollah will try and provoke Israel along the
northern border in an attempt to deflect attention from domestic
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Israel, senior IDF officers said on Tuesday, was keeping a close
eye on the situation in Syria and was concerned with the possibility that
President Bashar Assad’s regime would be toppled and replaced by radical
One senior officer said that unlike Egypt, where the Higher
Military Council took over for toppled President Hosni Mubarak, in Syria there
is no clear successor, which could lead to division within the country and
On Tuesday, President Shimon Peres toured the border
with Lebanon together with Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and OC
Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and spoke in support of the
demonstrators in Syria.
“Syria is a poor country with a low quality of
life,” Peres told soldiers at a base along the Lebanese border. “Democracy needs
to be allowed into a country the moment the young generation opens its eyes. The
young people have questions about why they are living in poverty. A family that
cannot provide food for itself is tragic.”
Peres raised similar hopes for
democracy in Iran, which he said was providing $1 billion annually in military
aid to Hezbollah.
“Iran has poverty and unemployment but is not using its
money for its own people,” he said.