Former Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi
Ashkenazi: IDF attacked Syrian reactor? I haven't heard of it
Former IDF chief of staff teasingly denies reports claiming Israel bombed Syrian reactor in 2007; says every effort must be made to reach solution with Palestinians
"I heard this morning that the IDF attacked the Syrian rector; for the life of me I haven't heard anything about it and I don't think these things should be discussed." That was what former IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi had to say on Tuesday about a report in the New Yorker claiming that Israel was behind the attack on the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007.


Ashkenazi who was chief of staff at the time that the Syrian reactor was bombed was speaking at Calcalist economic convention in Tel Aviv.


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According to the New Yorker report, the IDF, the Mossad, and the Foreign Ministry all favored a low-signature attack on the reactor.

הכור שהותקף בסוריה (צילום: AP)

The Syrian reactor (Photo: AP)


"Just before midnight on September 5, 2007, four F-15s and four F-16s took off from Israeli Air Force bases. Using standard electronic scrambling tools, the Israelis blinded Syria’s air-defense system. Sometime between 12:40 and 12:53 am, the pilots indicated that 17 tons of explosives had been dropped on their target."


Ashkenazi said very little about the event, and only noted that the Middle East is going through dramatic changes with the economic crisis both influencing and being influenced by the changes.


"The struggles we see in neighboring countries are really something on a completely different scale, it isn't just another violent round of coups, rather it is a struggle for the most basic things – the character of the regime – and to the best of my understanding, it isn't over."


Ashkenazi then said: "Stability and calm on the security front are conditions for growth and economic contribution. I firmly recommend that the peace treaties be upheld. We need to make every effort to find some kind of solution with the Palestinians, even if some of us have a problem with the partner; we need a two state solution.


"Moreover, the State of Israel must strive towards permanent borders. We need to make an effort to solve our disagreements with sources that have an interest in stability in the region like Turkey. I think we need and have a solution.


"In addition, we must maintain our relationship with the US, I think it is a security necessity." Ashkenazi noted that the American tax payer contributed more to Israel's defense budget over the last three years than the Israeli tax payer.




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