Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
warned Syrian President Bashar Assad Thursday that in an event of war with Israel, "not only will you lose the war, you and your family will no longer be in power."
Speaking during a business conference at Bar-Ilan University, Lieberman said, "Whoever thinks (Israeli) territorial concessions will separate Syria from the axis of evil is mistaken. Syria must be made to understand that it has to relinquish its demand (that Israel cede) the Golan Heights."
On Wednesday Assad
accused Israel of “pushing the region towards war”. During a meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos in Damascus, Assad said that the Jewish state "is not serious about achieving peace”.
Assad spoke just hours after his foreign minister, Walid Moallem, said that "Israel knows that if it declares war on Syria, such a war will reach its cities as well."
The Syrian minister was responding to remarks made by Defense Minister Ehud Barak earlier this week. Speaking at a forum of senior IDF commanders, Barak said a full-blown war with Syria was possible in case a peace agreement is not reached.
Lieberman said Moallem's remarks constitute a "blatant threat against Israel," adding, "(Syria) has crossed a red line; and we cannot ignore this."
Addressing the Iranian threat, the foreign minister called Tehran the "root of the problem."
"I don’t even want to think what the price of oil will be when Iran will have a (nuclear) bomb. There is also the fear that Iranian (nuclear) weapons will reach extremist groups," he said.
"The international community must make some clear decisions. There are no more excuses," Lieberman said.
The Kadima party said in response to Lieberman's statements regarding Syria,"The Netanyahu government is playing with fire."
"Instead of calming matters down, (the government) enflames them further. Netanyahu must rise above his political problems and order the end of vehement and irresponsible statements by state leaders," the party's statement read.
Referring to Lieberman, Labor MK Eitan Cabel urged Netanyahu to "stop this warmonger," adding, "We cannot have such a senseless man who does not appreciate
the importance of peace with Syria and the danger of entering into war with it, in such a sensitive post."
MK Talab El-Sana (United Arab List-Ta'al) said that Lieberman is "a dangerous blabbermouth who may drag the region into an unnecessary war. The prime minister must restrain him, and if he is unable to do so, than he must fire him."
Roni Sofer and Sharon Roffe-Ofir contributed to the report