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Israel may seize advanced weapons in Syria: Barak

Israeli Defence minister Ehud Barak threatens intervention in case the beleaguered Syrian government delivers missiles to the Lebanese Hezbollah movement

Reuters , Saturday 21 Jul 2012
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak visits a military post in the Golan Heights, overlooking Syria, Thursday, July 19, 2012. (Photo: AP)
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Israel is preparing for a possible military intervention in Syria in case the Syrian government hands missiles or chemical weapons to the Lebanese Islamist movement Hezbollah, Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Friday.

"I have instructed the military to increase its intelligence preparations and prepare what is needed so that ... (if necessary) ... we will be able to consider carrying out an operation," Barak said in an interview on Channel 10 television.

"We are following ... the possible transfer of advanced munitions systems, mainly anti-aircraft missiles or heavy

ground-to-ground missiles, but there could also be a possibility of the transfer of chemical means (weapons) from Syria to Lebanon," he added.

"The moment (Syrian President Bashar al-Assad) starts to fall we will conduct intelligence monitoring and will liaise with other agencies," Barak said.

Hezbollah, which has in the past received military and financial support from Syria and Iran, launched thousands of mainly short-range rockets into Israel during Israel's 2006 offensive in southern Lebanon, but some longer-range rockets reached central Israel.

Their border has largely remained quiet since then.

On Thursday, Barak toured the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau that Israel captured from Syria in the Middle East war in 1967 and from where it can monitor movements inside the territory of its northern foe.

Barak said Israeli troops were preparing to prevent an influx of refugees into territory that Israel controls there.

"They (refugees) have not chosen to come close to us, but in the event of the regime's downfall, which could happen..., (Israeli forces) here are alert and ready, and if we have to stop waves of refugees, we will stop them," Barak said.

Syrian rebels have assassinated four of Assad's closest aides in Damascus and seized three border crossings with Iraq and Turkey this week, putting the Syrian leader under greater pressure than at any time in the 16-month uprising against his rule.

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21-07-2012 10:58pm
Role of Israel
If Israel were to offer humanitarian support on any scale to neighbors in need (like refugees of all persuasions), the dividends for Israel could be far reaching....not that one needs to calculate the ROI of helping suffering families. Sure, many would greet such aid with suspicion, but just maybe it would be wise to take such a step. If it were your family fleeing a war zone, how would you feel toward someone providing a warm meal, medical care or just a safe place to rest.
Comment's Title
20-08-2012 02:45pm
Role of Israel Divide and Conquer how dare you speak about charity, (like refugees of all persuasions). Start charity at home ! Last week was a mob linching of young Palestinians walking on the street, settlers torching a Palestinan Mosque, settlers attack a car wounding 5 members Palestinian family, including 4 years old child. Al Ahram did not publish it? I wander why.

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