Army chief: Israel can live without Golan Heights
Israel has the ability defend itself even if it gives up the Golan Heights in a peace deal with Syria, Israel's army chief said in an interview published on Friday.
Israel has long argued that giving up the area, occupied from Syria in 1967, would leave northern Israel vulnerable to a possible Syrian attack.
"If you ask me, theoretically, if we can reach a deal with Syria...my answer is that from a military point of view it is possible to reach an agreement by giving up the Golan Heights," Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon told the Tel Aviv-based Yediot Aharonot newspaper.
"The army can defend any border. This is correct for any political decision that is taken in Israel," he conveyed.
However, Ya'alon warned that Syria still constitutes a threat to Israel's security and that the two sides could once again find themselves engaged in a war.
"I can't ignore the scenario where an escalation on the Lebanese front leads to a confrontation between the two armies," he said. Israel's top officer stressed that Syria has "missiles that put all of Israel in range and chemical capabilities." (albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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