Damascus has been able to withstand Israeli "pressure and deception attempts," said Syrian Vice President Farouk Shara at a convention of the country's ruling Ba'ath party on Wednesday.
Shara stated that Israel had failed not only to "quell resistance" - a term generally used to denote acts of terrorism by groups backed by Iran and Syria - but also to "force the Palestinian people in Gaza to surrender." Israel's "aggressive behavior" and response to the Goldstone Commission's report into Operation Cast Lead, he stressed, proved that it was uninterested in peace.
The Syrian vice president also praised Iran for acting as a deterrent against "the Zionist regime."
According to an Israel Radio report released on Thursday morning, Shara also stated in his Wednesday speech that any potential deal to release captured IDF soldier St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit might also include Syrian prisoners.