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One entire battalion, according to reports, took on the role of the local civilian Arab population, in an attempt to isolate them from the fighting.
This would be the first attack ordered by the new defense minister Avigdor Liberman.
Syria's defense minister and several other government officials were killed or hurt by a suicide bomber in Damascus Wednesday, a day after Israel's Director of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi had said that President Bashar al-Assad's days were numbered. Also killed in Wednesday's blast was Assad's brother-in-law, who was Syria's deputy defense minister. The bomber, who struck during a meeting of government and security heads, reportedly was a bodyguard.
In a briefing before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi said that the election of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi as President of Egypt has brought political Islam to the forefront of politics in the Arab world, but predicted that the Egyptian military would continue to serve as a strong restraint. As a result, he doubted that Egypt would be allowed to drift into Iran's orbit.