News / Middle East

Israel Hints at Responsibility for Syria Strike

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak gestures during the annual Security Conference in Munich February 3, 2013.Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak gestures during the annual Security Conference in Munich February 3, 2013.
x
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak gestures during the annual Security Conference in Munich February 3, 2013.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak gestures during the annual Security Conference in Munich February 3, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Robert Berger
— Israel is suggesting for the first time that it may have been responsible for an air raid last week in Syria.   

After days of silence, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has hinted his country was behind last week's air strike in Syria.  

Damascus accused Israel of attacking a research facility last Wednesday, while foreign media reports said Israeli jets hit a convoy transferring Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles to the Islamic militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Speaking at an international security conference in Germany, Barak said Israel had warned in advance the transfer of sophisticated weapons to terrorist groups is a red line that must not be crossed.  

“That is another proof that when we say something we mean it.  We say that we do not think it should be allowable to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon,” said Barak.

In Damascus, Syrian President Bashar Assad was quoted as saying the air strike is proof Israel is conspiring with foreign forces to destabilize Syria.

The growing tensions with Syria coincide with Israel’s formation of a new government, two weeks after national elections.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the proliferation of heavy weapons in Syria poses a major challenge as he begins a third term in office.

But as he began off coalition talks in Jerusalem on Sunday, Netanyahu said the biggest threat Israel faces is from Iran.

He said the top priority of his new government will be to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.  But Israel sees it as a threat to its existence, and has warned a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities remains an option.

Netanyahu sounded a more conciliatory note on the Palestinians, saying he hopes to revive peace talks that have been deadlocked for four years over Jewish settlement expansion.  He said he plans to form a broad national unity government with Israeli moderates who support the peace process.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid