Newsletter : 4fax0109.txt
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Barak: A Deal with Syria Means Leaving the Golan Heights
Former Labor party Prime Minister Ehud Barak stated a deal with Syria means Israel
withdrawing from the Golan Heights. The former prime minister and IDF chief of staff
explained that this was the reality during his and other previous administrations,
including Rabin, Peres and Netanyahu, adding nothing has changed. Barak added that anyone
who believes Israel can remain on the Golan Heights and achieve a peace agreement with
Syria "does not know what world he is living in."
Syria's Weapon of Mass Distraction
Syrian President Bashar al Assad has conceded that Syria possesses chemical and
biological weapons of mass destruction and will refuse to destroy them as long as Israel
remains armed, the British Telegraph newspaper reported.
"We are a country which is occupied," said Assad, ostensibly referring to the Golan,
"and from time to time we are exposed to Israeli aggression. It is natural for us to look
for means to defend ourselves." Assad downplayed the resources and motivation necessary to
obtain the deadly arsenal Syria is purported to possess. "It is not difficult to get most
of these weapons anywhere in the world and they can be obtained at any time."
Assad said that Libya's surprise announcement last month in which Libya announced it
would dismantle its chemical and nuclear weapons program a "correct step." The Syrian
dictator added a call for the international community to support the proposal that Syria
presented to the United Nations last year, which calls for removing all nuclear and
chemical weapons from the Middle East. This proposal was largely viewed as an attempt to
put pressure on Israel to disarm. "Unless this applies to all countries, we are wasting
Meanwhile, Nizar Nayyouf, an exiled Syrian journalist, wrote a letter published by the
Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, saying he knows the three sites where Iraq's sought after
weapons are kept. According to Nayyouf, the weapons are being stored in tunnels dug under
the town of al-Baida near the city of Hama in northern Syria. He said the tunnels are part
of an underground factory, built by the North Koreans, for producing Syrian Scud missiles.
The letter claims Iraqi chemical weapons and long-range missiles are being stored in these
Another site is the village of Tel Snan, north of the town of Salamiyah, where there is
a big Syrian air force base. The third site, according to Nayyouf, is the city of Shenshar
on the Syrian border with Lebanon, south of the city of Homs. According to the report the
commanders of Saddam Hussein's Special Republican Guard organized the transfer of Iraqi
weapons to Syria.
Nayyouf was a founding member of a human rights organization, the Committee for the
Defense of Democratic Freedom and Human Rights (CDF), which had been banned by the Syrian
government shortly after its establishment. He was arrested and jailed in 1992 and was
released during May 2001.
In an interesting twist, Amr Moussa, who heads the Arab League, declared Thursday that
"Syria has no weapons of mass destruction but it and other West Asian countries have the
right to acquire defensive measures against Israel's nuclear capabilities."
In Moussa's interview with Dubai's Al Arabiya he said the U.S. was wrong to assume
Syria had nuclear weapons without proof. "Syria does not have weapons of mass destruction
or nuclear weapons," he said. "We can't presume Syria has nuclear weapons just like that,
that's wrong. There is just one country with WMDs in West Asia - Israel. And in that case,
perhaps in the near future, other countries will try - and it is their right - to protect
themselves against such weapons."
Report: Iran Renews Flow of Weapons Via Syria to Hizbullah.
After a break of nearly a full year, Iran has resumed supplying Hizbullah terrorists in
southern Lebanon with weapons and supplies transported via Syria, according to a report
Thursday evening on Channel 1 news.
According to the report, Syria dispatched a number of planes to Iran last week posing
as humanitarian aid transports for Iranian earthquake victims. When the flights returned
to Syria, they were filled with weaponry, which was unloaded in Damascus and transferred
to the Hizbullah in Lebanon. Details of the weapons transfer became known to the United
States, which demanded an explanation from Syria.
Israeli Politicians Push for Resumption of Talks with Syria
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
Senior Israeli politicians and army generals are pushing the government to seize what
they see as an opportunity to re-start peace talks with Syria. Their statements follow a
recent overture from Syrian President Bashir al-Assad, which they say should not be
Israeli Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Israeli Radio that now is the time to
explore a resumption of peace negotiations with Syria. Netanyahu, a former right-wing
prime minister, says the situation today is completely different than it was when he made
his own attempts to reach a peace agreement with Assad's father in the 1990s. He indicated
that Syria is under much more pressure to alter its stance, following the toppling of
Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
Netanyahu said Syria needs peace with Israel during a time that despotic regimes are
being removed around the world. He said this could be to Israel's advantage. Netanyahu
also said that Damascus is no longer in a position to ask Israel to withdraw completely
from the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau captured from Syria during the 1967 war.
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom also told Israel Radio that it is time to
seriously examine Syria's recent offer to resume negotiations. He said this is a way of
signaling to other Arab countries that Israel is interested in making peace.
But like Netanyahu, the Foreign Minister refused to commit himself to a withdrawal from
the Golan Heights as part of the price for reaching peace with Syria. Shalom said Syria's
intentions need to be examined seriously, and that talks should be held without
Senior Israeli military commanders have appealed to the government to put Assad to the
test, following his statement last month indicating a willingness to re-start peace talks.
Israeli media reported that Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff General Moshe Ya'alon
and three of his deputies have said there should be a positive response to Assad's
Salesman Arrested for Theft of Mikveh Funds
An ultra-Orthodox resident of Bnei Brak is in police custody, having admitted to
breaking into mikva'ot (ritual baths) in communities in Judea and Samaria, then stealing
The suspect is employed as a salesman who travels to communities in Judea and Samaria.
He told police that after completing his work in a specific community, he would break into
the mikva'ot. He added that he does not need the money, but is a kleptomaniac.
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