Israel Official Urges Quiet on Iraq

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 29 Sep 2002 17:56:12 +0100

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres on Saturday criticized his government for
talking too much about a possible U.S. strike on Iraq, saying this is
creating the false impression that Israel is pushing Washington to

Peres did not single out politicians he felt were too talkative.
Israel's prime minister, defense minister, army chief and others have
spoken in detail about the dangers posed by Iraq and Israel's possible
role in a U.S.-Iraq war. 

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in a weekend interview with The
Jerusalem Post that Israel would try to remain on the sidelines as much
as possible. Detailing Israel's response, Sharon suggested that Israel
would retaliate for an Iraqi attack if there are Israeli casualties or
Saddam Hussein uses non-conventional weapons. 

Peres said in an interview with Israel Radio on Saturday that Israel
should simply state it will defend itself, if attacked. 

"We don't need to create the impression that we are the ones pushing for
this (U.S.) campaign (against Iraq)," Peres said. "First of all, it's
not true. Secondly, it causes damage to the United States if it is being
portrayed as being pushed by Israel ... We don't want anyone in the
United States to think that this (a possible attack on Iraq) is a result
of Israel's pushing." 

Peres said Israeli officials should show greater restraint. "There is no
need to talk all day long about all possibilities," he said. 

Source:  The Associated Press

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