(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday that a cease-fire plan set to take effect at noon in southwestern Syria should not allow for a vacuum to be filled by Iran and its proxies in the area near the border with Israel.
Netanyahu added that Israel would welcome a genuine cease-fire in Syria, but heeded caution in addressing the American and Russian-announced “de-escalation agreement” due to start Sunday.
"Last week I discussed the matter in in-depth discussions with US Secretary of State [Rex] Tillerson and Russian President Vladimir Putin," Netanyahu said at the weekly meeting of his cabinet. "They both told me that they understand the positions of Israel and that they would honor our demands."
The premier underlined that Israel would continued to monitor the fighting over the border in the civil war in Syria that has been raging for more than six years.
He added that Israel would stand firm in its "red lines" on preventing the conflict from spilling over the border. Such efforts, he said, included "preventing Hezbollah from gaining force in Syria by means of acquiring advanced precision weapons, preventing Hezbollah from establishing a ground force presence near our [Israel's] border and preventing the establishment of an Iranian military presence throughout Syria."