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Israel says Syrian mortar strike was attack on NATO
Published Thursday 04/10/2012 (updated) 05/10/2012 19:06
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Protesters shout slogans during an anti-war protest in Istanbul after
Turkey's parliament gave authorization for military operations outside
Turkish borders if the government deems them necessary, Oct. 4, 2012.
The banner reads "No to War". (Reuters/Osman Orsal)
PARIS (Reuters) -- Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said on Thursday a deadly Syrian mortar strike on a Turkish town had to be considered an attack on a member of the NATO alliance.

Israel is technically at war with Damascus and occupies the Golan Heights that it seized in the 1967 war and later annexed, but it has generally taken a cautious line on the uprising in its Arab neighbor.

"One has to say that according to the NATO treaty, it was an attack on a member of NATO, and that means France," Meridor told reporters during a visit to Paris, referring to France's membership of NATO.

Syria and Israel have not exchanged fire in three decades, and a parliamentary briefing in July by the Israeli armed forces chief about the risk of "uncontrollable deterioration" in Syria were interpreted by local media as a caution against opening a new fighting front with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Meridor said he did not want to go into details about the incident but said the deaths in Syria had to end.

"Syria is in a horrible situation, a civil war. Each day men, women and children are being killed and it must be stopped," Meridor said after meeting France's foreign and defense ministers.

"We are in a process that isn't finished. We don't see the end for now."

Turkey's government on Thursday said "aggressive action" against its territory by Syria's military had become a serious threat to its national security and parliament approved the deployment of Turkish troops beyond its borders if needed.

Immediately after the incident, Ankara, which has the second-largest army in NATO, called a meeting of the organization's North Atlantic Council.

Syria has apologized through the United Nations for the mortar strike in Turkey and said such an incident would not be repeated.

Israel has been particularly worried that Hezbollah, the Iranian-inspired Shiite militia in neighboring Lebanon, may gain access to the chemical weapons should Assad's grip slip amid a 18-month-old insurgency.

Assad, from the minority Alawite sect, considered an offshoot of Shia Islam, has close ties both with Shiite Iran and Hezbollah, which was originally set up to oppose Israel.

"The alliance with Iran is extremely worrying (for us). Iran on one side, Hezbollah on the other, with Syria in the middle. For us, it's very important that this unholy alliance is broken," Meridor said.

"If the Assad regime were to fall, it would be a vital strike on Iran," he said.
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1 ) shirley / australia
04/10/2012 23:34
what they are really worried about Is ASSAD will GET BACK GOLAN HEIGHTS AND LEBANON ALL ITS ANNEXED TERRITORY THE INCREDIABLE SHRINKING ISREALand after establishment of pal state with right of return Isreal may just be the symbolic stateit was meant to be for jews afin times of trouble not asuperpower rouge state

2 ) evest / lebanon
04/10/2012 23:40
attak by fsa salfists on kurds

3 ) jjvanka / Netherlands
05/10/2012 02:14
'An attack on Nato', right. So was the Israeli attack on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara (Turkish territory), which killed even more Turkish citizens.

4 ) southparkbear / usa
05/10/2012 04:00
it's true but no one is willing to move which is the sensible thing to do. Iran and Russia are deeply vested and it could be a WWIII if NATO moves in. Of course Israel will be drag into it by hizbullah and Lebanon will be destroyed. Kurds will take up arm in Iraq, Turkey and Syria. on the other hand, a war lifts nations economically

5 ) AKeenReader / UK
05/10/2012 09:12
This idiot Israeli Deputy PM thinks as if we don't know what this attacks on Turkey means being a NATO member. INSTEAD LET IT BE A REMINDER TO ISRAEL THAT TURKEY HAS MORE INFLUENCE IN NATO THEN ISRAEL ITSELF SO ISRAEL BE WEARY. These Israeli officals are a bunch of idiots because they believe as if the world is living in some jungle.

6 ) Nato / Toilet
07/10/2012 18:24
Its tue why hasent nato moved, it in there charter if a member is attacked, remaining members will retribute
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