Ashkenazi (L) and PM observe IDF drill
Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom, GPO

Netanyahu: Iran inciting to war with lies

Prime minister tours Northern Command with IDF chief of staff, accuses Tehran of attempting to escalate Israel-Syria relations

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday accused Iran of attempting to escalate the relations between Israel and Syria. Speaking during a tour of the Israel Defense Forces' Northern Command, Netanyahu said that "Iran's recent attempts to incite to war between us and Syria are a completely groundless act."


Netanyahu added that the Iranians were "spreading lies in order to escalate the relations."


Together with IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, the prime minister attended a military drill in one of the fire practice areas in northern Israel.


"We want security, stability and peace. Israel has not intention of attacking its neighbors, despite false rumors on this matter," said Netanyahu.


Addressing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's Declaration that Moscow would increase its involvement in the Middle East, the PM said, "We welcome any contribution to the promotion of peace and any practical measure on the part of our neighbors –including Syria – that will bring calm to the region and help launch a diplomatic process.


"We are willing to begin talks with Syria without any preconditions, just as we are currently doing with the Palestinians," said the Israeli premier.



Netanyahu and Ashkenazi during drill (Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom, GPO) 


IDF chief Ashkenazi also relayed a calming message, saying that the military exercise was routine. "This is not the first drill, nor is it the last," he said, "There is no message here to anyone."


Earlier Tuesday, Syrian President Bashar Assad slammed Israel, saying that "we consider the expulsion of Palestinians from Jerusalem and the attacks on holy sites, as well as the siege on Gaza, as steps that may completely foil the peace process."


He spoke during a press conference with Medvedev in Damascus, who was in the Syrian capital on a historic visit.


The two leaders issued a joint statement saying that "the parties express deep concern over the remaining dangerous tension in the Middle East, first and foremost as the result of the continuing Israeli occupation, and condemn Israel settlement activity, (and) any unilateral attempts towards occupied Arab land, including east Jerusalem."


פרסום ראשון: 05.11.10, 15:34
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