Addressing the recent missile barrage from the Gaza Strip on the Jewish state, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak
warns Islamist terror group Hamas “should not put us to the test.” Barak also said Monday on Fox News the democratic revolution spreading across Arab nations “bodes well” for Israel, and it is “right for the Free World” to try and bring an end to Libyan tyrant Moammar Gadhafi’s murderous regime.
“We cannot accept these indiscriminate attacks on our citizenry with mortars. I believe no one would accept it. And we are responding,” Barak told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “Basically it’s the result of an extremely effective operation that we have along the Gaza border fence. Some four or five terrorists were killed in separate three incidents. I hope it will not deteriorate, but I do not recommend to Hamas to put us to the test.
“In regard to the overall historic earthquake in the Arab world – I believe in the long term it bodes well for all of us because it is a movement in the right direction,” Barak said. “But in the meantime, as you have mentioned, duly so, it is a lot of problems. It emphasizes the fact that Israel is living in a tough neighborhood – nothing like Western Europe or North America. We have to rely upon ourselves at any moment of truth and we have to be strong.”
Barak, who is also Israel’s deputy prime minister, said it is up to the Arab people to struggle for their rights.
“And I think that it is the right step by the Free World to intervene in Libya in order to put an end to the massacre of his own citizens by their own leader,” Barak added.
Van Susteren asked whether revolts in the Arab world could change the dynamic for Israel, particularly with regard to Egypt – with whom Israel has a peace treaty – and whether fear exists the Muslim Brotherhood might take undue control.
“I hope it won’t,” Barak said. “I believe the Egyptian new regime will have [to] take into account the interests that Egypt has in continuing this process with Israel, as well as other international commitments – among other things – in order to … make them capable of holding their head over water regarding to the economic situation. So I believe there are many constraints on them not to deteriorate the commitments to the peace process.
“But as you mentioned earlier, the Muslim Brotherhood is a major threat in Egypt, mainly for the Egyptian society more than probably for Israel,” he said. “We have to take the long term into account – the fact that things could change and that the whole neighborhood is not exactly stable.
“At the same time, we cannot but admit that certain kinds of political reforms are urgently needed all around the region.”
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