Israeli defense minister allays fears of chemical weapons strikes

Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently said Israel’s enemies would not dare launch a chemical weapons strike against it.

The comments were made following an assessment made by a top Israeli Defense Forces official that regional adversaries would consider using chemical weapons if an all-out war were to occur in the Middle East, according to Haaretz.

GOC Home Front Command Major Eyal Eisenberg recently told the Institute of National Security Studies that Israel was already on the brink of a major war in the Middle East, adding that such a conflict could potentially include the use of weapons of mass destruction. Eisenberg said that the so-called Arab Spring could turn into the “Radical Islamic Winter."

Barak, who was visiting the Golan Heights near the Syrian border with Israel, responded that although many have recently voiced their opinion of an upcoming war, he felt there was no reason Israel’s enemies would initiate hostilities against the country in the foreseeable future.

"They know well why they shouldn't even think of using chemical weapons against Israel," Barak said, Haaretz reports.

The defense minister also said he hoped that the tumult in Syria would result in a continuously quiet border when referring to the possibility that the Arab Spring could destabilize the region.

"Even if a new situation comes about, one which is very hard to predict, I hope it will be a quiet one. There's no doubt that the fall of these regime, when it takes place, would serve as a harsh blow to the entire radical front, especially Iran and Hezbollah," the defense minister said, according to Haaretz.