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      Cabinet to Deal with Security

      On the agenda for Israel's government Sunday were issues of security on the home front, and looking ahead to the future in Syria.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 12/23/2012, 12:37 PM

      Netanyahu at Cabinet meeting.
      Netanyahu at Cabinet meeting.
      Flash 90

      On the agenda for Israel's government Sunday were issues of security on the home front, and looking ahead to the future in Syria.

      "We are simultaneously dealing with three fronts,” explained Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his opening remarks to the Cabinet.

      The south, he said, is quiet, “but we have loose ends to deal with on the home front with additional grants that we will give to people and communities.”

      Netanyahu commented that he would later summarize lessons learned on the home front from last month's Operation Pillar of Defense, but meanwhile discuss ongoing activities in the south.

      He then turned to the issues of security across the rest of the country, and what appears to be the growing threat of a “third intifada.”

      "We have also recently been witness to disturbances and attacks on our forces,” the prime minister said. “Later today we will visit IDF Central Command in order to closely monitor developments as well as the necessary steps to deal with each possible scenario.”

      In addition, said Netanyahu, Israel's defense establishment is continuing to monitor events in Syria, “where there are dramatic developments almost daily.”

      Israel, he said, is cooperating with the United States and the rest of the international community on making preparations for the possibility that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may fall. The prospect includes the possibility that Syria's chemical weapons arsenal could be transferred to terrorist control, be used against rebel forces, or in a completely different scenario, be fired in an attack on Syria's neighbors, including Israel.

      "We... are taking the necessary measures to prepare ourselves for the possibility of far-reaching changes in the regime, with implications for the sensitive weapons systems there,” Netanyahu said.