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Ehud Olmert hinted strongly that the target of last year’s Israeli airstrike in Syria was a nuclear installation.

“There are things that I’m not prepared to talk about,” the Israeli prime minister told Yediot Achronot in an interview published Thursday after being asked to provide details on what was bombed in northern Syria on Sept. 6.

But, he continued, “I’ll say only this: To the best of my knowledge, the residents of Israel are not threatened by Syrian nuclear weapons.”

Independent experts believe the mysterious bombing run targeted a fledgling nuclear reactor built with North Korean help. The Olmert government has refused to confirm or deny that in a policy that pundits believe aims to spare Syrian President Bashar Assad public humiliation and allow for the possibility of peace talks.

Olmert told Yediot that Jerusalem and Damascus have exchanged messages to clarify what both sides would expect from a resumption of negotiations that stalled in 2000. He did not elaborate.

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