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Lieberman: Assad becomes a Target if Israel is Attacked

Former Foreign Minister says details of Russia's offer on supervision of chemical weapons in Syria are unclear.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 9/10/2013, 10:49 AM

Avigdor Lieberman
Avigdor Lieberman
Hezki Ezra

Former Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman had words of warning Tuesday for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad:

Speaking to Voice of Israel public radio, Lieberman threatened: "Assad must understand that he and the people that surround him will turn into legitimate targets, if he drags Israel into the conflict." 

However, barring such an eventuality, Israel must stay out of the conflict in Syria and refrain from taking any sides, despite attempts to drag it into the conflict, added Lieberman, who is the chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Security Committee.

The details of Russia's offer to the United States regarding supervision and eventual destruction of chemical weapons in Syria are unclear, according to MK Lieberman, who heads the Yisrael Beytenu faction within the Likud-Beiteinu list. It is not known, he explained, whether the chemical weapons are to be transferred to western hands in full, or remain under supervision within Syrian territory.

Regarding Iran, Lieberman stated that Israel must depend, first and foremost, on itself, and be prepared to deal with any threat. He expressed hope that the international community would act more resolutely to stop Iran's nuclear program.

Regarding negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA), the former foreign minister said that a diplomatic breakthrough is impossible, because conditions are not ripe for achieving a comprehensive peace. Attempts to artificially speed up diplomatic processes are doomed to fail, he added.