PM Netanyahu addresses the Israeli parliament (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90) (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Netanyahu

Prime Minister tells Knesset: Israel will ”not accept” Iran’s permanent presence in Syria and will act against it.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear to the US and Russia that Israel will continue carrying out military operations in Syria to ensure its security.

Speaking to a special session of the Knesset, Netanyahu said he told Washington and Moscow that Israel will act according to its “security needs.”

Netanyahu declared that Iran knows Israel will ”not accept” its permanent presence in Syria, adding ”I have clarified to our friends in Washington and our friends in Moscow that we will operate in Syria, including southern Syria, in accordance with our understanding and in accordance with our security needs.”

He made the statements after the US, Russia and Jordan negotiated the deal designed to reach a new cease-fire agreement in southern Syria that will create a “de-escalation zone” adjacent to Israel’s border, where Iran and Hezbollah, its terror proxy, will not be allowed to establish themselves.

Israel is apprehensive of the deal because Iran is allowed to establish itself 7km (4.5 miles) from it northern border, a distance Jerusalem insists is not satisfactory for its security needs.

Israeli Minister for Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi said Sunday that the agreement “does not answer Israel’s unequivocal demands that there will be no developments that bring Iranian or Hezbollah forces closer to Israel’s border with Syria in the north.”

“Israel has no objection to a (peace) agreement in Syria, but we are firmly opposed to such an agreement in which Iran and its proxies will be left with a military presence in Syria,” Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin in May.

While Israel has refrained from directly intervening in the Syrian conflict, it has carried out strikes against Hezbollah, Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria to neutralize immediate threats to its security or retaliate against infringements on its sovereignty.

Israel has long warned about the involvement of it archenemy Iran, and its terror proxy Hezbollah, in Syria.

It has expressed concerns of a “Shiite corridor” with land links from Iran to Lebanon, providing free movement for terrorists and weapons across the region.

By: United with Israel Staff and AP

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