Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday reiterated his concern over Syrian chemical weapons, stating they not only pose a threat to the civilians in Syria, and to Israel, but to the entire region.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday with Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman at the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem, the prime minister said: "Chemical weapons not only endanger civilians in Syria, but also other parties in the Middle East, burdening the entire region as well as the United States and Russia."

Netanyahu added that Israel is closely monitoring the situation, and is in communication with various governments, including the US and Russia in order to "prevent the chemical weapons reaching terrorist hands."

Meanwhile, Pope Benedict on Monday urged the international community to end what he called the endless slaughter in Syria before the entire country became a "a field of ruins."

He made the appeal in particularly strong terms during a yearly "state of the world" address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican.

He said Syria, where the United Nations estimates that 60,000 people have been killed, was "torn apart by endless slaughter and (is) the scene of dreadful suffering among its civilian population."

He called for an "end to a conflict which will know no victors but only vanquished if it continues, leaving behind it nothing but a field of ruins."

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