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Six Israeli security chiefs stun the world

May 6th, 2013
10:41 PM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

Six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secretive internal security service, have spoken out as a group for the first time and are making stunning revelations.

The men who were responsible for keeping Israel safe from terrorists now say they are afraid for Israel’s future as a democratic and Jewish state.

Israeli film director Dror Moreh managed to get them all to sit down for his new documentary: “The Gatekeepers.” It is the story of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories, as told by the people at the crossroads of some of the most crucial moments in the security history of the country.

“If there is someone who understands the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it’s those guys,” the director told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. ((CLICK HERE TO READ FULL POST))

Filed under:  Israel

Syrian opposition PM: Arm us, not the extremists

May 6th, 2013
06:20 PM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

If the West doesn’t arm the Free Syrian Army, extremist groups will take hold of the war-torn country. That’s the assessment of Syrian opposition leader Ghassan Hitto, who in past weeks, went from being a Texas-based I.T. executive to prime minister of the Syrian National Coalition, Syria’s government in exile.

“Do we wait until thousands and thousands more of Hezbollah fighters continue to pour into Syria? Do we wait for more Iranian soldiers and Iranian influence in the region?” Hitto said to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

Hitto is a Syrian-American who's just been appointed the first interim prime minister of the Syrian opposition. He has temporary headquarters in Istanbul, but told Amanpour he'll soon name his government and move into Syria.

Filed under:  Israel • Latest Episode • Syria

Negotiated end to Syria's civil war?

May 6th, 2013
06:10 PM ET

CNN's Christiane Amanpour asks Syrian opposition Prime Minister Ghassan Hitto if there's still any hope whatsoever for the possibility of a negotiated end to the country's civil war.

Filed under:  Latest Episode • Syria

Israel: We do not hide our red lines

May 6th, 2013
05:08 PM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

Syria may call Israel’s airstrikes near Damascus this weekend a "declaration of war," but if you ask Israeli officials, it's all overblown.

"There are no winds of war," Israeli commander Yair Golan told reporters while out on a jog.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn't even in Israel – he’s in Beijing – adding to the impression that all is in hand.

Indeed, Israel is bending over backward to convince Syria that it was simply going after Hezbollah-bound arms from Iran, and that its airstrikes were not to support the rebels.

Still, dozens of Syrian soldiers were killed, according to the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, citing medical sources.

“Nobody in Israel wants another war with Syria – this is not the intention,” the former head of Israel’s internal security service, Ami Ayalon, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. Israel, he said, simply felt it had no alternative.  FULL POST

Filed under:  Latest Episode • Palestinian territories • Syria