Mofaz: Open secret diplomatic channel with Syria

Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz called on Monday to open a secret channel with Syria in order to determine how serious the Syrians were about negotiating with Israel. When a state speaks openly about peace, Mofaz said in an interview with Israel Radio, "it's appropriate to examine the issue not only via intelligence devices, but also through diplomatic channels." According to Mofaz, it would be an exaggeration to say that war will break out if Israel doesn't begin negotiations with Syria; however, he said, in the wake of the Second Lebanon War, there are "gas fumes" in the air. This is apparent in the renewal of Hizbullah readiness and the rise in the Syrian level of alertness, he said.