Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “Russia’s position on the matter has not changed.” The agreement between Jerusalem and Moscow continues to allow the Israel Air Force to carry out defensive actions against terrorist targets in Syria.
By Shlomo Cesana, Lilach Shoval & Israel Hayom Staff
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is on a state visit to China, commented Tuesday on Israel’s recent airstrike in Syria, targeting a Hezbollah-bound weapons convoy, saying if a threat to Israel is detected it will be neutralized.
“If we have intelligence and operational feasibility, we will strike. We have policy in place and it will not change,” Netanyahu said, noting Israel will continue carrying out such strikes as needed.
He further noted that in his March 6 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he made it clear that Israel will continue to strike Hezbollah-bound arms deliveries.
Russia’s involvement in the Syrian civil war has prompted Moscow and Jerusalem to set up a direct line of communication between their militaries to prevent any clash between Israeli and Russian forces.
The understandings between Russia and Israel allows the Israeli Air Force to carry out defensive missions against targets in Syria, and “Russia’s position on the matter has not changed,” Netanyahu stressed.
- Report: IAF jets destroy Hezbollah ordnance at Syrian army outposts in Damascus suburb
- Israel Defense Minister: Israeli strikes prevent Syrian chemical weapons transfer to Hezbollah
- Dozens of Hezbollah killed/injured by Syrian forces over military strategy
A defense official said Israel does not coordinate such missions with Russia, in order to avoid compromising Israeli pilots.
Netanyahu did not comment on the fact that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov summoned Israeli Ambassador to Russia Gary Koren last week, to provide clarifications on the strike against the arms convoy.
This was the first time the Kremlin has publicly asked an Israeli envoy for clarifications on Israel’s counter-Hezbollah operations in Syria, where Assad relies on Russia to help prop up his embattled regime.
Netanyahu and Chinese President Xi Jinping also discussed the Iranian threat during their meeting Tuesday.
Xi stressed his country would not tolerate Iranian statements calling for Israel’s annihilation.
Speaking with reporters after the meeting, Netanyahu noted that his government’s dialogue with the Trump administration regarding limitations on construction in Judea and Samaria excludes Jerusalem.
View original Israel Hayom publication: