Lieberman: Israel working to stop WMDs transfers from Syria to Hezbollah
Hours after another alleged Israeli attack in Damascus, defense minister tells EU ambassadors that the IDF is 'trying to prevent the smuggling of sophisticated weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction' to the Lebanese terror organization.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday that Israel was working to thwart the transfer of advanced weapons and WMDs from Syria to Hezbollah.
Lieberman's comments to European Union ambassadors in Israel were made after the Syrian regime once again accused Israel of attacking its military facilities early Wednesday.
"We act primarily to protect the safety of our citizens and defend our sovereignty, and we're trying to prevent the smuggling of sophisticated weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction from Syria to Hezbollah," the defense minister said.
He reiterated that Israel had no intention of interfering in the civil war in Syria, but noted that "when I am asked, time and time again, what should be the nature of a possible future accord in Syria, I say and repeat that it doesn't matter what accord it reached because in any case, the Iranians and Assad cannot be part of the accord."
The defense minister also told the European ambassadors that cooperation between Hamas in Gaza and the Islamic State's Sinai branch has increased in recent months.
"In today's world, it's clear you cannot count on the international community, and each country should only rely on itself," he said.
On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Lieberman said it would not be realistic or possible to reach a permanent accord with the Palestinians in the coming years because of the extreme positions of Palestinian Authority leader Mahdmoud Abbas.
"That's why the idea of a final-status agreement will be delayed by at least a few years, and in the meanwhile we need to allow for normal life in Judea and Samaria for both Jews and Palestinians," he said.
He asserted that "it's clear today that the settlements are not an obstacle to peace and that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the center or the reason of instability in the Middle East. Despite that, European leaders continue treating it as the biggest problem in the world."
Lieberman lamented the fact that "at least 500 people are killed in the Middle East every day—from South Sudan to Iraq. It's a lot graver and more important than what's happening in Amona, but you don't see any mention of it in European media."
"It's hypocritical of you to keep talking about the settlements all the time," he added. "I'm waiting for you to start talking about North Korea and Iran's ballistic missiles."