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PM Netanyahu: "The State of Israel is ready for any scenario. We are not part of the civil war in Syria but if we identify any attempt whatsoever to harm us, we will respond and we will respond in strength.

Israel Headlines - PM Netanyahu: "The State of Israel is ready for any scenario. We are not part of the civil war in Syria but if we identify any attempt whatsoever to harm us, we will respond and we will respond in strength.

There is no reason to change daily routines. The IDF is ready to defend against any threat and to respond strongly against any attempt to harm Israeli citizens".

Israel Cabinet Approved: a thousand reserve soldiers will be recruited to the Air Force and the Home Front Command.
As part of the Cabinet decision thousands of soldiers will be recruited and Iron Dome batteries will be deployed in the north.

Preparations for a possible attacks on Israrl from Syria, Senior military official said that the Cabinet has approved the to recruit thousands of reservists for the Home Front Command, Air Force, intelligence and headquarters. The source added that if the United States attacks Syria, Israel may change the level of preparedness in the army and accordingly will be recruited more reservists. Currently, no change in the alert level, but Northern Command units and units in charge of protecting Israeli home front will remain on alert. The Senior official stressed that the likelihood that the Syrian army would launch missiles at Israel "is not high, even low." However, he added that during the meeting, also attended by Chief of Staff - Gen. Benny Gantz and senior defense, it was also decided to reinforce the Iron Dome batteries in the northern arena. Now, according to the senior official, there are no plans to open extra distribution points for Chemical Protection Kits.

Meanwhile, United States formed a coalition attack against Syria including some Arab countries. Estimated that Americans apparently waiting for the UN inspectors in Syria. However, it is important to remember that the United States is limited to the opening date of the operation due to the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama in Russia next week. Senior official admitted that Israel has not yet received a formal assurance from the United States for the a period of time which Israel will receive a warning before the beginning of the operation, Israel may receive warnings just few hours before the attack.


At the end of the Cabinet meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "The IDF prepared to defend against any threat, and prepared to respond with force to any attempt to harm Israeli citizens." The Cabinet Meeting, held in the Kirya in Tel Aviv, the ministers presented scenarios that Syrian President will take if attacked, when some of the scenarios were also the possibility that the Syrian president chooses to attack Israel.

"Further security evaluations took place today, there is no reason to change the routine of life. Meanwhile, we are preparing for any scenario," added the Prime Minister.

A political source in Jerusalem said that Israel believes Assad will not try to drag Israel into war. However, he added, "We are preparing for this possibility, although it is unlikely, We must be prepared for any scenario." He added that it is assumed that the West will not try to topple the Assad Regime, and that so far have not clarified the scope of the anticipated attack.

Earlier today the Israel Air Force increased the intelligence-gathering effort over Lebanon.

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PM Netanyahu meets with French FM Fabius

For too long people believed that the root cause of instability in the Middle East was the Palestinian-Israeli problem. It is not the root cause; it’s one of its results of the regional turmoil. If we have peace with the Palestinians, the centrifuges will not stop spinning in Iran, the turmoil will not stop in Syria, the instability in North Africa will not cease, the attacks on the West will not cease.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and said at the start of the meeting:

"I know that France shares our interest in the ongoing events in Syria that are tragic. I think what is going on there is a crime committed by the Syrian regime against its own people. It’s truly shocking. And these atrocities must stop.

I have to say, however, that Assad’s regime is not acting alone. Iran, and Iran's proxy, Hezbollah, are there on the ground playing an active role assisting Syria.

In fact, Assad's regime has become a full Iranian client and Syria has become Iran's testing ground. Now the whole world is watching. Iran is watching and it wants to see what would be the reaction on the use of chemical weapons.

What we see in Syria is how extremist regimes have no reservations whatsoever about using these weapons even when they use it against innocent civilians, against their own people. This demonstrates, yet again, that we simply cannot allow the world's most dangerous regimes to acquire the world's most dangerous weapons. In the end, the extremists use these weapons. So we must prevent them from having these weapons.

I speak here of course in the context of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Iran must not be allowed to get nuclear weapons. What is happening in Syria, simply demonstrates what will happen if Iran gets even deadlier weapons.

I think the situation in Syria also exposes another truth, and that is that there is something very deep and very broad in the turmoil in the Middle East. We see the entire region from Morocco to Afghanistan in turmoil, in convulsion, in instability. And that’s an endemic instability that is not rooted in this or that conflict but in the rejection of modernity, in the rejection of moderation, in the rejection of progress, in the rejection of political solutions.

This is in fact the core of the problem in the Middle East. It’s something that threatens everyone, threatens moderate regimes, threatens Israel, threatens the West and threatens all those who don’t believe in the doctrinaire dogmas that guide the extremists.

I say that because for too long people believed that the root cause of this instability in the Middle East was the Palestinian-Israeli problem. It is not the root cause; it’s one of its results. It’s one of the results of the regional turmoil, and in fact it is merely a manifestation of one of its many problems.

If we have peace with the Palestinians, the centrifuges will not stop spinning in Iran, the turmoil will not stop in Syria, the instability in North Africa will not cease, the attacks on the West will not cease.

We want peace for its own sake. We want peace because we want peace with our Palestinian neighbors, because we want to live in peace, and anybody who’s been at war know the consequences of not having peace. But this will not put an end to the region’s problems. They are far too deep, they are far too many, they require much more complex solutions, but they require solutions.

This is something that I would like to talk to you, about all these things: our pursuit of peace with the Palestinians, the situation in Syria, the rampant instability in the region and above all, a goal we share closely – that is how to make sure that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons. All these and many others, I’m sure we’ll have an opportunity to discuss so welcome to Jerusalem."
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Statements by PM Netanyahu and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

PM Netanyahu: “I think today everybody understands that the root cause of the instability in the Middle East and beyond has to do with the convulsion that is historic and cultural in nature, of which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is merely one of many, many such manifestations.”



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Following are their statements at the start of their meeting:
Prime Minister Netanyahu: "Mr. Secretary, welcome to Jerusalem. It’s always a pleasure to see you and to discuss the issues of our time with you, the Secretary-General of the United Nations. I know, like me, you want to see the peace process which has been resumed, succeed. I know that like me you know that the most important thing is to prepare our respective peoples for peace and in this regard, I’m sure you are going to look into the abuse of UNRWA camps in Gaza that have been used purportedly for peace camps, but actually to instill the culture of hatred and the ideas of destroying Israel amidst Palestinian children. It’s very hard to habituate and prepare the next generation for peace when they’re told that Jews are the descendants of pigs and monkeys and that the Jewish State has no right to exist, so I trust that you will make sure that these abuses of U.N. goals and U.N. funds does not continue.
I look forward to discuss with you the urgent issues of the day that plague our region: First and foremost Iran’s continual quest to achieve nuclear weapons and of course the unfolding situation in Syria and elsewhere in our region. I think it’s important to discuss the real problems and not those that are often discussed in the media. It wasn’t until long ago that people said that the root cause of the instability in the Middle East was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And now, you can’t say that with a straight face because from the Atlantic Ocean to the Khyber Pass, you can see this endemic instability that is plaguing so much of the Arab and Muslim world. We, of course would like to see it, not only restore stability, but also restore peace and move towards prosperity and equitable relations among nations, including with our nation, but I think today everybody understands that the root cause of the instability in the Middle East and beyond has to do with the convulsion that is historic and cultural in nature of which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is merely one of many, many such manifestations.
As far as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, we have to get to the root cause of the problem and the root cause was and remains the persistent refusal to recognize the Jewish State in any boundary. It doesn’t have to do with the settlements – that’s an issue that has to be resolved, but this is not the reason that we have a continual conflict.
The conflict preceded the establishment of a single settlement by half a century and when we rooted out all the settlements in Gaza, the attacks continued because of this basic opposition to the Jewish State. I think it’s important to understand that if we build a few hundred apartments in Gilo or Ramot, or the other Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, or in urban blocks that everybody knows, including the Palestinian negotiating team, according to the Al Jazeera leaks, will be part of the final peace map in Israel, I think these are not the real issues that we need to discuss.
The real issue is how to get a demilitarized Palestinian state to finally recognize and accept the one and only Jewish State. These and other matters of course will I’m sure inform our discussions. There are a few other things that I prefer to discuss with you privately, but I do look forward to discussing with you all these and other issues and I welcome you once again, Mr. Secretary, to Jerusalem."

UN Secretary General Ki-moon: "Thank you Mr. Prime Minister. Thank you for your very kind welcome and hospitality and I’m also very pleased to see you in good health and I’m really appreciative of your receiving me despite your recent operation. I sincerely hope that you will recover as quickly as possible and continue to be healthy and as dynamic as ever.
I think my visit is taking place at crucially important timing for the Middle East peace process, which you courageously and wisely agreed to resume. I’m here to lend my strong support, of myself and the United Nations and the Quartet.
I’m encouraged that Israelis and Palestinians have reengaged in direct dialogue, but for these negotiations to have a chance at success, they need to be meaningful. I know that a program has remained open and for decades causing hardships and casualties on both sides. It might sometimes seem that the program will never be solved.
Dealing these symptoms might seem easier in the short-term. It takes courage and vision and creativity to decide that the long-term cost of the program is actually too high. That is what is happening now with the Israeli-Palestinian issue. I applaud Prime Minister Netanyahu for having the courage to set out a solution as a priority. I know that many Israelis look at the original unrest and ask whether now is the time to try to make peace with the Palestinians. Some might want greater government focus on tackling other issues within their own society. I also say to the Israeli people that this process should and must lead to increase the security and hope for a more stable region.
The time is now for Israel to be fully respected as a member of the international community. In this regard, I would very much welcome a more constructive relationship between Israel and the Human Rights Council. I believe Prime Minister Netanyahu recognizes that Israel will never realize its potential internally or externally as long as there is no peace with Israel’s closest neighbors, the Palestinians. The Prime Minister knows that occupying Palestinian land is not the long-term solution to Israel’s regional challenges.
I’m here to urge all the leaders to continue along the path to peace and to underscore a shared commitment to walk together to make 2013 a decisive year for Israel-Palestinian peace and peace in the region. And as you have discussed, I’m also ready to discuss all other regional issues including the Syrian crisis, Egyptian situations and Iranian nuclear issues and the situation in Lebanon and the situation in a broader Middle East peace and stability and I’m grateful for your leadership and count on your continuing leadership and great success and prosperity of Israeli people and government.
Todah. Thank you."
Prime Minister Netanyahu: "Thank you Mr. Secretary."

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PM Netanyahu meets with German FM Westerwelle

PM Netanyahu: Germany is a friend of Israel. We both want the same thing – to achieve peace. We’re committed to peace and we’re working for peace. I look forward to discussing with you how, bilaterally and other ways, we can advance peace together. 



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, and said at the start of their meeting:
"Welcome to Jerusalem. You’re a friend; Chancellor Merkel is a friend; and Germany is a friend of Israel. We both want the same thing – to achieve peace. We’re committed to peace and we’re working for peace. I have to say, on a sad note, that I think Europe, the European guidelines by the EU have actually undermined peace. They’ve hardened Palestinian positions, they seek an unrealistic end that everybody knows is not going to happen, and I think they stand in the way of reaching a solution which will only be reached by negotiations by the parties, and not by an external dictate. I think this is something that you know very well, and I look forward to discussing with you how, bilaterally and other ways, we can advance peace together."
German Foreign Minister Westerwelle said, "So let me just wish you the very best, personally and of course for the upcoming direct talks. We encourage everyone to stay on this track. We will support you."

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Israel News - PM Netanyahu Met with Father Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox Priest from Nazareth

Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, met with Father Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest from Nazareth and spiritual leader of a forum for the enlistment of Christian youth in the IDF, Naji Abid, leader of the Orthodox council in Yafia and Lt. (ret.) Shadi Khaloul, head of the forum.

Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed that a joint Government-community forum be established within two weeks to promote the enlistment of Christian community youth in the IDF and national service and their integration into the life of the state. The forum will work to integrate members of the Christian community in the law on equality in sharing the burden and deal with the necessary administrative and legal aspects, protect those who support enlistment and enlistees from violence and threats, and step up law enforcement against those who disturb the peace and incite to violence.

There has been a significant increase in the number of Christian enlistees in the IDF, from 35 a year ago to approximately 100 this year; an additional 500 young people from the community are doing national service.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "Members of the Christian community must be allowed to enlist in the IDF. You are loyal citizens who want to defend the state and I salute you and support you. We will not tolerate threats against you and we will act to enforce the law with a heavy hand against those who persecute you. I will not tolerate attempts to crumble the state from within. The State of Israel and the Prime Minister stand alongside you."

Father Nadaf said, "Our goal is to guard the Holy Land and the State of Israel. We have broken the barrier of fear – the state deserves that we do our part in defending it. Those who oppose the integration of the Christian community in the institutions of state do not walk in the path of Christianity."
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Israel Headlines - PM Netanyahu on remarks by Iranian President Rouhani

"These remarks by President Rouhani must rouse the world from the illusion that part of it has been caught up in since the Iranian elections."


The President has changed but the goal of the regime has not: To achieve nuclear weapons in order to threaten Israel, the Middle East and the peace and security of the entire world.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani remarks in which he was cited as saying that Israel "has been a wound on the body of the Islamic world for years and should be removed."

"Rouhani's true face has been revealed earlier than expected. Even if they will now rush to deny his remarks, this is what the man thinks and this is the plan of the Iranian regime. These remarks by President Rouhani must rouse the world from the illusion that part of it has been caught up in since the Iranian elections. The President there has changed but the goal of the regime has not: To achieve nuclear weapons in order to threaten Israel, the Middle East and the peace and security of the entire world. A country that threatens the destruction of the State of Israel must not be allowed to possess weapons of mass destruction," the Prime Minister said.



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PM Netanyahu and Culture and Sports Minister Livnat Meet with Composer Nachum Heiman

"You are in our pantheon of artists. You have authored so many of the wonderful songs that I and my family grew up on. My brother Yoni especially loved your songs."


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, this afternoon met with composer and artist, and Israel Prize laureate, Nachum Heiman and asked him to serve as a special adviser for a project to strengthen Hebrew song that will include, inter alia, digitizing generations of Hebrew songs and making them more accessible.
The project is the joint initiative of the Prime Minister's Office Heritage Branch and the Hebrew Song Dept. of the National Council for Culture and the Arts. Heiman is expected to contribute to the project from his vast experience as a composer and artist and is expected to receive approximately NIS 50,000 per annum for his services.
The Prime Minister's Office Heritage Branch, which is responsible for implementing the National Heritage Plan, and the National Council for Culture and the Arts Hebrew Song Department, which was recently established by Minister Livnat and which is headed by composer and artist Kobi Oshrat, will be responsible for implementing the project.
The Culture and Sports Ministry has already allocated NIS 500,000 to the National Council for Culture and the Arts Hebrew Song Department in order to initiate projects and encourage Hebrew song, including the documentation and preservation of songs which have become part of the country's heritage.
The project joins others regarding Hebrew song which are supported by the Culture and Sports Ministry, including a 2011-2012 project to reset Israeli songs to popular dances, in which Yoav Yitzhak, Shlomi Shabbat, Avihu Medina, Ruhama Raz, Gadi Elbaz, Aviva Avidan and others participated.
Through its "Culture for Israel" initiative, the Ministry holds Hebrew song appearances and events in dozens of communities and heritage sites. The Ministry ascribes great importance to preserving Hebrew song. To this end, it has, in recent years, invested hundreds of thousands of shekels in a project to produce documentary films on major Hebrew authors and poets, including Leah Goldberg, Yonah Wald, Chaim Nachman Bialik, Rachel and others.
Prime Minister Netanyahu told Heiman, "You are in our pantheon of artists. You have authored so many of the wonderful songs that I and my family grew up on. My brother Yoni especially loved your songs."
Culture and Sports Minister Livnat said, "We would be pleased if you would help us in the important enterprise of preserving and documenting the songs that form an inseparable part of the historical mosaic of the State of Israel. I am convinced that your vast knowledge and your desire to preserve and document the songs now and for future generations will be of significant value and will contribute much to this important project."

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