Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures .
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Russian-brokered proposal to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons is an
acceptable option if fully implemented, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
indicated on Wednesday in his first comments on the situation in the
Speaking at a naval ceremony in Haifa, Netanyahu said that dozens
and sometimes hundreds of innocent people were being killed on a daily basis
just across Israel’s border.
“Some of them were murdered by chemical
weapons,” he said. “That is a horrible crime, a crime against
humanity. Now what needs to be ensured is that the Syrian regime’s
chemical weapons will be dismantled and the world will ensure that anyone who
uses weapons of mass destruction will pay a price.
“The message Syria
receives will resonate very strongly in Iran,” he stressed.
repeated what he had said on August 25, regarding Syria’s use of chemical
weapons, that he was being guided by the first half of the sage Hillel’s ancient
maxim: “If I am not for me, who will be?” Netanyahu said the practical
translation of that adage these days is that Israel must always be able to
defend itself, by itself, against any threat.
He cited comments US
President Barack Obama had made regarding Israel’s ability to “defend itself
with overwhelming force” during his speech on Syria on Tuesday.
correct,” Netanyahu affirmed, “and that is the foundation of our
Obama, during his speech, downplayed Assad’s ability to
retaliate against any US military action, saying “any other retaliation they
might seek is in line with threats that we face every day.”
that Assad did not have any interest in an escalation that would lead to his
demise. “And our ally Israel can defend itself with overwhelming force, as well
as the unshakable support of the United States of America,” he
Jerusalem received that statement in a positive light,
interpreting it as a sign that the US would support strong Israeli action
against Assad if he responded to an American attack by striking out at
In a related development, Israeli officials would not comment on
a report in Russian business daily Kommersant that Moscow intended to offer to
supply Iran with five S-300 ground-to-air missile defense systems.
signed a contract with Iran to supply them with the system in 2007 but cancelled
the contract in 2010, after coming under intensive US and Israeli pressure not
to go ahead with the sale.
According to Kommersant,the version of the
weapons system to be offered would be a modified, less advanced model of the
Russia has also agreed to construct a second nuclear reactor at
Bushehr, the paper said, adding that these are among the issues that Russian
President Vladimir Putin is expected to discuss with Iranian President Hassan
Rouhani on Friday during a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in