Netanyahu: Iran Trying to Provoke War Between Israel and Syria

Israel seeks peace and has no intention to attack its neighbors, despite false rumors, the prime minister says.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said that Iran is trying to provoke war between Israel and Syria, during a visit to a Northern Command training base.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Tomer Appelbaum

"Israel has no intention for war, and this is an effort to spread lies in order to create regional tension," Netanyahu said.

"We want stability and peace," the premier continued. "Israel seeks peace and has no intention to attack its neighbors, despite false rumors."

Responding to a question about Tuesday's meeting between Syrian President Bashar Assad and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Netanyahu said that Israel would welcome any steps toward the resumption of peace talks, including those with Syria.

Netanyahu said, however, that peace talks must take place without preconditions. "The path to peace is through negotiations, and that is our intention with the Palestinians and with the Syrians.

Medvedev arrived in Syria late on Monday, shortly after meeting President Shimon Peres, who said in Moscow that Israel did not want war and did not intend to escalate tensions along its borders.

The visit is seen as part of diplomatic endeavor to decrease tensions between Syria and Israel, as well as a defiant message from Syria to Washington, in the wake of rising tensions over an Israeli accusation that Damascus had provided the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah with Scud missiles.

Both Syria and Lebanon have dismissed the allegations as "lies."