Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delieverd a terse retort Sunday to the threats issued Friday by Iran's "supreme leader" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and tied it to events in Syria.  

"We have received a reminder about what kind of a neighborhood we live in," Netanyahu said at the start of the Cabinet session. "We heard the Iranian ruler's remarks about the elimination of Israel. We saw the Syrian army massacre its own people. We have seen other bloody events in our region. Leaders have no moral compunctions about killing -whether their neighbors or their own citizens."

"In such a region, the only thing that ensures our existence, security and prosperity is our strength. We are obligated to continue to develop the military, economic and social strength of the State of Israel. This is also the only guarantee for the existence of peace and the only defense for Israel should the peace unravel."

"Developing Israel's strength is this Government's main issue," Netanyahu said. 

Netanyahu has never led Israel in a time of war, but may soon find himself standing at the helm against the biggest military challenge Israel has faced in recent decades.