Netanyahu: Israel Acting to Deny Hizbullah Syrian

Israel preventing Syrian weapons from reaching Hizbullah and will continue to do so, Netanyahu says.


Israel news photo: Flash 90

Israel is acting to prevent Syrian weapons from reaching Lebanon's Hizbullah and will continue to do so, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, AFP reports.

His remarks came two weeks after air strikes near Damascus that were widely attributed to Israel, which a senior Israeli source said were aimed at preventing the transfer of sophisticated Iranian arms to Hizbullah, the Lebanese Shiite ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Netanyahu said the Middle East was going through its most sensitive period for decades, with the conflict in Syria at the center of the turmoil.

"We are closely following developments and changes there, and we are prepared for any scenario," he said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

"The government of Israel is acting in a responsible, determined and prudent manner to ensure the supreme interest of the State of Israel which is the security of its citizens according to the policy we set: to prevent as far as possible leakage of advanced weapons to Hizbullah and terrorist elements," he said.

"We will ensure the security interests of the citizens of Israel in the future."

Israel has repeatedly warned that it will not permit the transfer of advanced weapons or chemical agents to Hizbullah or to any other terrorist groups.

On January 30, another strike on Syrian soil, which also was attributed to Israel by regional sources, destroyed what military intelligence officials say was a shipment of Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles destined for Hizbullah.