continues to assert that Bashar Assad's
regime is using chemical weapons against rebels. A top state official said Monday that intelligence agencies have concrete evidence that the Syrian
regime used chemical weapons against the rebels. "This is not an intelligence assessment, it's proof and even beyond proof," he said.
The official further added, "There is raw material on Assad's army's use of chemical weapons. All of the intelligence agencies have been briefed. No one has doubts on the matter."
The official said that one of the main threats as far as Israel is concerned is that weapons will fall into the hands of Hezbollah
or terrorist groups trying to reach the border. "The possibility of them obtaining chemical or conventional weapons they never had access to have consequences for the State of Israel," he added.
The official also commented on the situation in the Palestinian Authority including Salam Fayyad's resignation as prime minister. "Effectively this was a dismissal meant to tighten Abu Mazen's (Mahmoud Abbas)
grip of the Palestinian Authority's funds," he said.
"There is no doubt that Salam Fayyad's ouster was derived by Fatah
and Abu Mazen's desire to control the funds. Abu Mazen cooked it up with international elements. He needs the money for political survival, for a struggle against Hamas
The official explained that Fayyad had realized that financial aid is dwindling and that he has no choice "but to control the money in order to deal with the internal struggles in the Palestinian Authority."
He praised the former Palestinian premier as an effective partner for issues such as tax collection and infrastructure investment. "He was a pragmatist, he did not align himself with the extremists or militants in Fatah. He was the only person the donor states trusted and respected. The fact that they ultimately agreed to sell him out is not good news."
Commenting on the current coalition, he said: "The coalition appears to be stable. Its first test is the state budget and the second is universal draft. If it succeeds in these two tests it will be very stable."
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