'We must be ready for all options with Syria'

Defense Minister Peretz calls for dialogue, preparedness in the North.

By
June 4, 2007 23:41
1 minute read.
'We must be ready for all options with Syria'

peretz 298. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

While the Syrian calls for negotiations must be carefully examined, the IDF cannot afford to lower its defenses along the northern border, Defense Minister Amir Peretz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Monday. "We must not think that the voices of peace from Syria are a substitute for preparedness and readiness. The IDF must be ready in any event and the voices must be examined carefully," Peretz said. Peretz said Israel should "take advantage of every possible opportunity for dialogue with Syria," but he reminded MKs that Syria was a strategic partner in the "fundamentalist axis" led by Iran that supplies and funds Hamas. "The Syrian-Lebanese border serves as the axis from which Hamas's armament and strengthening is set in motion. Syria also serves as an umbrella for Hamas' political leadership," he said. Peretz also made it clear the he had directed the IDF to prepare for a possible conflict with Syria. "The IDF is ready and prepared for any change in the situation in the region," said Peretz. The head of Military Intelligence's research division, Brig.-Gen. Yossi Baidatz, told the lawmakers that Hizbullah's weaponry was being restored by Syria, which was rapidly rebuilding it forces south of the Litani River. Despite the presence of UNIFIL peacekeepers in southern Lebanon, Hizbullah had largely rebuilt its military presence, he said. "Hizbullah continues to rehabilitate itself, from a military and a social perspective," Baidatz said. "It is preparing itself for possible conflict in the summer, but is not interested in this as it wants a period of calm in which to rehabilitate [its forces]." Turning to the Gaza Strip, Baidatz said Hamas was "satisfied" with the results of the current wave of attacks against Israel, since it had resulted in a number of Israeli communities being deserted. "Hamas understands that Israel will not launch a deep ground incursion [into Gaza]. They feel they have accomplished a great deal against Israel," he said. Baidatz also said Hamas was continuing preparations for a major attack, which could include an attempt to kidnap Israelis. Peretz said the IDF was acting "aggressively" to stop the Kassam rockets coming from the Gaza Strip, and that Israel, "not Hamas, will decide when the operation is over."

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN