Barak: 2010 Was Israel's Quietest Year in Many, but IDF Is Prepared

Defense Minister says Israel's top priority for 2011 is moving the peace process forward, adding that it is imperative to maintain close ties with U.S. and fight delegitimization campaign.

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday that 2010 had proven to be the "quietest in many years" in terms of Israel's security, but warned that the Israel Defense Forces was prepared for "every possibility".

"A complicated reality continues to surround us," Barak said while on a tour of the Negev, adding that within that realm the government's "foremost responsibility is to find a way to reach a political process and initiative, both on the Palestinian track and on the regional level."

Defense Minister Ehud BarakCredit: Archive

"If there is a chance, even if it has not always seemed clear, to reach a breakthrough and an agreement, we will reach a breakthrough and an agreement," said the defense minister.

In addition to pushing toward a peace settlement, Barak cited maintaining Israel's relationship with the United States and fighting the delegitimization campaign as top priorities for the coming year.

"The world is inclined to accepting the Palestinian stance," said Barak. "We must fight against the course of delegitimizing Israel and with all of our power maintain our relationship with the United States. It is crucial both to the security of the state and also to our political clout in the world."

When asked whether Israel planned to engage Syria again in 2011, Barak responded that he had no concrete information to share but that "the Americans have taken a constant interest" in the matter.

"As of now, the most important channel is the Palestinian issue and I think we must do everything possible" to remain on track, Barak said.

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