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Palestinian conflict, ISIS crisis in Iraq bigger threat to Israel than Iran: Mossad chief

Last Updated: Sunday, July 6, 2014 - 16:26

Zee Media Bureau

Jerusalem: In wake of the heightened tension over killing of teenagers on both side of the border, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo has termed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the biggest threat being faced by Israel and not Iran`s controversial nuclear programme, said reports.

According to the Haaretz, in a private meeting with businesspeople, Mossad chief Tamir Padro enlisted a slew of threats to Israel, keeping the Palestinian issue at the top.

Surprisingly, he did not answer in affirmative for Iran as the second largest threat even, and instead mentioned the Islamic State`s insurgency in Iraq as one of the major problems to be concerned about.

“This is a worrisome problem for Israel...This organization is here to stay. They embrace the public like [Israeli ultra-Orthodox party] Shas does, with a welfare and education system. They espouse murder for its own sake. Hamas is a lightweight organization by comparison,” the report quoted Padro as saying.

The comment by Mossad chief that stands in contrast with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s stresses remarks on Iran`s nuke threat.

Mr Padro`s emphasis on Palestinian conflict being the most endangering element to Israel comes as an autopsy report showed that a Palestinian teenager, who was killed in revenge attack allegedly by the Israeli extremists, was burnt to death.

The revenge attack on Palestinian teen was said to be staged in retaliation to the death of three Israeli teenagers and the issue fuelled intense anger and clashes that spread into Arab Israeli towns.

The autopsy said that 16-year-old Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khdeir, whose death Wednesday had sparked large protests in his east Jerusalem neighborhood, suffered burns on "90 percent of his body."

"The results show he was breathing while on fire and died from burns and their consequences," al-Owaiwi said.

Meanwhile, tensions remained high on Israel`s reinforced southern border with the Gaza Strip.

Israeli military said on Sunday that it carried out airstrikes on 10 militant sites in the Gaza Strip, including rocket launchers and a weapons manufacturing site.

The airstrikes early Sunday come following at least 29 other rockets and mortars fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel over the weekend.

Two of those rockets were aimed at Beersheba, a southern city deeper into Israel than any other attack in the current round of violence. The military says its "Iron Dome" defense system intercepted the two rockets.

Also Sunday, the army arrested a Palestinian in the West Bank city of Hebron. His family identified him as Hossam Dufesh. The army would not elaborate on the arrest. Israeli forces have concentrated its search for the killers of three Israeli teens on the Hebron area.

First Published: Sunday, July 6, 2014 - 13:26
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