Ya'alon: Israel Preparing for All Scenarios

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Sunday Israel would not get involved in the Syrian conflict unless its security is at stake.

In his remarks at the annual counter-terrorism conference sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Ya'alon said the Syrian regime is well aware that "if they challenge us, they'll meet the force of the IDF [Israel Defense Forces]."

The former chief of staff is convinced Syria used chemical weapons against its citizens, killing at least 1,400, and said Israel is prepared whether the Obama administration decides to attack Syria or not.

Ya'alon again advised Israelis to carry on with their holiday observance, saying "whoever planned on going on vacation over the holidays can carry on with his plans and in my estimation, they will go ahead unhindered."

He also expressed his differing position on the "two-state solution" sought by the Obama administration and endorsed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"One of the most incredible things in a period when the notion of the nation-state is collapsing before our eyes is that there are those who are trying to advance, in one way or another, the founding of yet another nation-state, even as it remains unclear how the people of Jenin are connected to the people of Hebron -- and uncertain that there is a common denominator between those in Judea and Samaria and those in Gaza," he said.

Ya'alon has long maintained a lasting peace cannot be achieved until the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip stop priming the next generation with a diet of hatred and jihad.


The Times of Israel contributed to this report.

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