Mossad chief: No indication Syria moving toward peace
In Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, Mossad Chief Meir Dagan says Syria arming Hizbullah at rapid pace, trying to topple Lebanese government. Dagan in reference to Iranian nuclear program: Tehran has technical problems it still hasn't solved, but international community not applying pressure
According to him, Syria is arming itself and Hizbullah at a rapid pace, is trying to topple Siniora's government, and is undermining American presence in Iraq.
In regards to the Iranians, Dagan said that Tehran is approaching nuclear capability. "They have technical problems that they have yet to solve, but no international pressure is being applied against them at the moment," warned Dagan.
He said that al-Qaeda, who indicated Israel as a main target, is getting stronger organizationally. According to him, "If Iraq crumbles, al-Qaeda's influence on the moderate regimes will increase."
About the situation in Lebanon after the war, he said, "Hizbullah is still in southern Lebanon, hasn't disarmed, is in agreement with the Lebanese army about its presence in southern Leabnon, and there are places that the Lebanese army cannot enter. Hizbullah is unabatedly being armed with missiles, some of which they have installed north of the Litani. Hizbullah is using all its strength to nullify Resolution 1701."
Member of Knesset Effie Eitam (National Union-NRP) said after Dagan's briefing in the committee, "Israel is facing severe security threats."
Eitam added, "A leadership is needed that is going to stop deceiving the citizens and that will allow the IDF to gain back security control."
A very senior official in the Prime Minister's Office said Sunday to Ynet, "The conditions for opening a dialogue with Damascus are clear to the Syrians . They have already been conveyed to the by Colin Powell during the term of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
"Unfortunately, the Syrians are not even implementing the minimal steps they could implement. In such a situation, there is no reason in the world for Israel to hold a dialogue or negotiations with the Syrians, and certainly not against the position of (US President) George Bush, Israel's greatest friend," said the official.
Mossad Chief Meir Dagan added that a strategic change is in effect in Syria, and it will now respond to any Israeli provocation.
"Israel's military deterrence was damaged in the war. Therefore, Assad's self-confidence grew. They are prepared to take more risks than in the past," said Dagan.