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      Dagan to Netanyahu: You Want to Shoot? Shoot!

      It's not wise to threaten Syrian President Bashar Assad at the present time, says former Mossad chief in response to PM's remarks.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 6/27/2013, 5:15 AM

      Meir Dagan
      Meir Dagan
      Flash 90

      Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan said on Wednesday that threatening Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in his present situation is problematic.

      Dagan, who spoke at Tel Aviv University, was responding to remarks made by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu earlier in the day, as he and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon observed a drill of the Golani Brigade in the Golan Heights.

      Netanyahu spoke about the current fragile quiet in the Golan, and declared, “Nobody will hurt the State of Israel. We have a very strong, very decisive response.”

      “We need the will to break our enemies and to put the fear of death into them,” he added.

      Dagan said in response, “You want to shoot? Shoot, don’t talk.”

      “It would be better for Israel if the Assad regime falls but we should not offend Assad and tease him,” he added. “You want to act? Just act!"

      Dagan has several times in the past criticized Netanyahu’s policies. He previously said he does not believe a nuclear Iran would be an existential threat to Israel and also said the Netanyahu government’s policies on Iran are irresponsible, publicly warning against attacking Iran.

      In one incident, he verbally confronted Minister Gilad Erdan during a conference in New York. The two were at odds over disparaging remarks to Prime Minister Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Barak that were made by former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin.

      On Wednesday evening, Dagan said that the main threat to Israel remains Iran's nuclear program, adding that the regime in Tehran is moving toward developing nuclear weapons.

      With that, said Dagan, President-elect Hassan Rowhani will probably have to get closer to the West because the sanctions that are being imposed on Iran are hurting its economy.