Peres: 'Victoria' shows Syria providing Hamas arms

President calls on people of Lebanon to free themselves of Hezbollah and Iranian influence and "return to be free people in the new world."

March 17, 2011 13:40
1 minute read.

Peres 311 reuters. (photo credit: Reuters)


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President Shimon Peres on Thursday said that the Navy's seizure of the cargo ship Victoria earlier this week proves that Syria is providing weapons to Hamas in Gaza and to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Peres made the comments at a memorial ceremony for Joseph Trumpledor in Tel Hai near the Lebanon border.

The Israel Navy seized the vessel early Tuesday morning in the Mediterranean Sea, finding advanced weaponry, including anti-ship missiles that could alter the balance of power in the region. Israel believes the weaponry originated in Iran and was destined for Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip. 39 containers aboard the ship were loaded in the Syrian port of Latakia.

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"Bad things can develop from the North, but in the North we also could end the war. It depends on our Syrian and Lebanese neighbors," Peres said.

"Hezbollah, an Iranian satellite, controls Lebanon," said Peres, calling on the people of Lebanon to free themselves of Iranian and Syrian influence and "return to be free people in the new world."

Peres called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to choose the path of peace, saying that if he did, "we are a partner for talks."

The president said that he believed the young generation in the Arab world would win out against tyrants and dictators.

"The tyrants are no longer able to hide the true face of reality, and therefore they cannot survive for long. The progressive Arab camp doesn't shoot at their brother Arabs. Gaddafi and Ahmadinejad shoot their own people. Their countrymen will not forgive them for that," said Peres.

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