'We must not ignore Syria's peace overtures'

A senior security official said on Saturday night that Israel must not ignore the peace overtures coming out of Damascus and that they must be examined carefully. His comments came a day after Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said that the return of the Golan Heights was not a precondition to talks. The senior official said that the stance of Defense Minister Amir Peretz had always been that the door should not be closed on any political opportunity. Nevertheless, the official said that Syria's actions were "not consistent with its words of peace," and that there was a gap between its actions and its declarations. "President Assad can prove the seriousness of his intentions if he takes a few simple steps and stops his support for terror," he said.