Israel's Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim on Thursday blasted the Syrian leadership and accused it of involvement in a failed attack by a Palestinian group on a school in northern Israel. Israeli officials claimed the bombing attack was thwarted on Wednesday and the would-be bomber was arrested.
“I’m saying that the terror organizations in general and the cell of the Islamic Jihad in Jenin in the case (of the school attack) are controlled by Syria,” Boim told Israel Radio. “The money is Iranian, and the training is from Hizbullah - this is the chain of terror that has Syria at its center.”
On his part, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad accused Israel's government of following "the policies of escalation and extremism," making the Middle East region a more dangerous place.
In a speech delivered Wednesday night at a banquet honoring visiting Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Assad said that Israel and its occupation of war-conquered Arab lands were at the core of Palestinian-Israeli violence and turmoil throughout the region.
Assad accused Israel of rejecting an Arab willingness to make peace. He claimed that tension throughout the Middle East was due to "the policies of escalation and extremism the Israeli government follows and its actions of aggression on the Arab people in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria."
Furthermore, the Syrian leader warned that Israeli policies portended "the most dangerous consequences if a rational, international will is not available to put an end to them," the official Syrian Arab New Agency reported.
The Syrian President charged that "the thing that caused the region to lose its stability, ruined its natural course of development and consumed all its development was Israel's occupation of Arab lands and its refusal to comply with the requirements of a just and comprehensive peace."
Silva, for his part, urged an "effective UN role in solving the problems of the region," SANA added.
Silva said his country was prepared to cooperate with Syria and other Arab countries to enhance trade relations with them. (Albawaba.com)
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