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Mofaz on Lebanon, Hizbullah, Gaza, Shalit and Kadima

mofaz.jpgDeputy Prime Minister and Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz on Monday morning spoke with Galei Tzahal (Army Radio). He addressed a number of key news issues.

Regarding events in Lebanon between the moderate Sunni faction and the radical Shiites, Mofaz stated Israel must be concerned since the events weigh heavily on regional realities and on Israel in particular. The former IDF chief of staff and defense minister stated that the stronger Hizbullah becomes in Lebanon, the stronger Iran becomes in the region, and Tehran’s growing influence is geographically closer to Israel.

Regarding events in Gaza, Mofaz remains adamantly opposed to making deals with Hamas, stating the terrorist organization must want a ceasefire as a result of ongoing IDF operations and the deterrence resulting from Israel’s war against Hamas, its leaders and its infrastructure.

In reference to the arrival of Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman in Israel Monday to discuss Egypt’s initiative towards a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, Mofaz stated that he is willing to vote in favor of the release of terrorists, even those who murdered, to bring Gilad Shalit and other soldiers back home.

As far as events in the Kadima Party and the investigation against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Mofaz stated that every citizen is presumed innocent until proven otherwise, and the same holds true for Olmert. While refusing to directly respond to the question if he sees himself as a candidate for prime minister if Olmert is compelled to step down, Mofaz stated that he and the majority of Kadima leaders feel that if the prime minister must step down, the party must hold primary elections to chose a leader – signaling he opposes those supporting Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni as the ‘natural successor’ to Olmert.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

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