Netanyahu welcomes ceasefire in Syria, warns against allowing Hezbollah or Iran to move in

During his weekly cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a number of issues concerning the US-Russian led Syrian cease-fire taking effect today as well as this weekend's "delusional decision" by UNESCO to recognize Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs as a Palestinian World Heritage Site.
Rebel forces in Syria (Archives) Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

The ceasefire in southwestern Syria went into effect this morning following the agreement reached between the United States and Russia during the G20 summit after both countries’ leaders met for the first time this past weekend. Shortly before the de-escalation agreement was enforced, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that "Israel will welcome a genuine ceasefire in Syria, but it should not be allowed to serve as a military base for Iran and its proxies in Syria and in the south in particular."

Netanyahu addressed the situation in Syria during his weekly cabinet meeting amid the increasing spillover fire into the Golan Heights. Last week, Netanyahu spoke with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Syrian issue during the Indian prime minister's visit to Israel. "Both told me that they understand Israel's positions and that they will take our demands into account," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu added: "On our part, we will continue to monitor what is happening beyond our borders while firmly standing by our red lines, such as preventing Hezbollah’s strengthening through Syria, specifically regarding the supply of precision weapons, preventing Hezbollah or even Iranian forces from setting up base near our border and even preventing an Iranian military presence on the ground in Syria as a whole."

Photo Credit: Yoav Ari Dudkevitch, Flash 90/Channel 2 News

In addition to the Syrian issue, Netanyahu also discussed the absurd UNESCO decision to recognize the Cave of the Patriarchs and Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage site, citing a passage from Genesis that illustrates the connection of the Jewish people to the city.

Netanyahu reiterated his decision to cut another $1 million from Israel's membership fees to the UN and transfer them to the establishment of a Jewish heritage museum in Kiryat Arba in Hebron, adding that the money would also be used for other heritage projects related to Hebron. Netanyahu stated that such projects would be used to present the world with the historical truth regarding the Jewish people’s deep connection not only to Hebron but to Jerusalem as well, which was recently also declared unconnected to the Jewish people by UNESCO.

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