Peres: We will respond with 'full force' to any Syrian attack

President says situation in Syria a "crime against humanity."

Shimon Peres in communication 370 (photo credit: GPO)
Shimon Peres in communication 370
(photo credit: GPO)
Israel will respond with "full force" to any Syrian counter-attack, President Shimon Peres warned Thursday morning, commenting on reports emerging from radical corners of the Arab world that have threatened Israel in retaliation if the West attacks Syria.
In a special meeting at the Jerusalem District Police headquarters, Peres stated: "Israel is not and has not been involved in the civil war in Syria, but if they try to hurt us, we will respond with full force."
In an effort to calm the nation, the president dismissed violent political rhetoric directed against Israel, saying that such statements were "intended to create panic. Israel is experienced enough [in these situations] so as not to not be drawn into false propaganda."
As reports surface of anxious Israelis flooding the gas mask distribution centers, anticipating an attack on Israel in response to any strike by the US and its allies on Syria over the regime’s probable use of chemical weapons, Peres reminded his citizens that Israel has a strong and powerful army.
"Remember that Israel has a strong army, and new, powerful protection systems that have never failed to protect the land, skies and the safety of its citizens," Peres said.
"What happened in Syria is not just a local event, but a crime against humanity and international law, and therefore the responsible world wishes to respond," Peres stated, referring to the international debate over intervention in Syria.
Commenting on the horror of the images that have shocked the world of chemical attacks on Syrian citizens, Peres said Syria has violated all moral boundaries, and referenced US President Barack Obama's speech stating that there can be no such violation of international law and mass murder without an adequate response.
"This time the response must be global rather than local," Peres said, urging the international community to act on the situation.