Liberman: Syria won’t be another Hezbollah front against Israel

Defense Minister says if it’s up to Israel, there won’t be a war this summer; slams politicians for criticizing IDF top brass.

June 26, 2017 12:57
1 minute read.
Lebanon's Hezbollah members carry Hezbollah flags during the funeral of Adnan Siblini

Lebanon's Hezbollah members carry Hezbollah flags during the funeral of Adnan Siblini, who was killed while fighting in Syria. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Israel will not allow Hezbollah to attack from Syria, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said as he entered a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting on Monday.

“There are many prophets out there predicting a hot summer,” Liberman said sardonically.

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“They say there will be a war in the South or the North. I want to make it clear one more time that we have no intention of initiating a military act – not in the North, not in the South.”

At the same time, Liberman said Israel will not stand idly by as the war in Syria spills over into the Golan.

“We won’t let anything pass, whether it’s just spillage or not. Everything will get a powerful response,” he stated.

In recent days, there has been some spillover of fire from Syria into Israel, and Israel struck targets loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in response.

Defense Minister Liberman tours northern border. (ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Israel strikes Syrian targets in response to earlier cross-border fire, June 24, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

Liberman gave a warning to Damascus in Monday’s meeting: “Whoever wants to turn Syria into a base for Syria and the Iranians against Israel should think again. We will not accept Syria being turned into another base and front against Israel.”

He added that Israel is enjoying quiet and economic growth and hoped that would not be disturbed.

Liberman also turned his barbs towards the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, announcing that any IDF officers criticized by its members will not appear before the panel.

Public criticism of the IDF’s top brass “harms our national security and is the wrong attitude.

The defense minister is responsible, and whoever wants to attack, can attack the defense minister,” Liberman stated.

Liberman pointed out that officers are not supposed to respond to criticism from politicians.

“Ministers and MKs can’t expect that they’ll attack the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and the next day invite him to the committee,” Liberman said.

The Defense Minister said he told COGAT commander Maj.- Gen. Yoav Mordechai and his officers not to speak to the committee after public “attacks.”

“It won’t work,” he emphasized.

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