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'Peace accord with Palestinians more urgent for Israel than Iran attack'

Tuesday September 11, 2012 08:07:09 AM, IANS

Jerusalem: A former head of Israeli military intelligence said Monday it would be dangerous to attack Iranian nuclear facilities without US backing in the near future.

Amos Yadlin expressed his concerns at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism World Summit, being held in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, reported Xinhua.

Yadlin stressed that since a strike would not completely prevent but only set back Iran's nuclear plans, Israel will need political, economic and military support from the US to ensure that Iran wouldn't develop nuclear weapons capabilities.

"Israel cannot do this alone and should not do so without U.S. backing," Yadlin added.

Meanwhile, Israeli opposition leader Shaul Mofaz, said that a bi-national Israeli-Palestinian state worried him more than a nuclear Iran.

"The danger of Israel becoming a bi-national state is far greater than the Iranian threat," Mofaz said during the summit, stressing that the first priority on the national agenda should be a peace accord with the Palestinians.

"The longer Israel waits, the harder that goal would become," he added, pointing to the danger of Hamas and other extremists intensifying their strength and control over Palestinian institutions and society.

Mofaz said while it wouldn't be easy, it is still possible to reach an agreement with the Palestinians, and that border and security issues can be resolved relatively quickly.

In recent months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak widely discussed the possibility that Israel would attack Iran in order to halt its nuclear plan which, they charge, poses an existential threat to the existence of the state of Israel.

However, last week Netanyahu seemed to be more open to diplomatic efforts to curb the Iranian nuclear plan, calling upon the US and its western allies to draw a "clear red line" for Iran and its leaders.






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