Hanegbi: Hezbollah can't gain from Syria crisis

Likud MK, PM stay mum on claims Israel carried out 2nd strike on Syria in days, despite comments on safeguarding Israeli security.

May 5, 2013 12:45
1 minute read.
Israel's northern border

Israel's northern border. (photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)


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Likud lawmaker and former Defense Committee chairman Tzahi Hanegbi stopped short Sunday morning of confirming that Israel had hours earlier struck Syrian targets for a second time in days, but warned that Israel would not tolerate a situation in which Hezbollah profited from the civil war currently raging within Syria.

A Western intelligence source said Israel carried out the air strike early Sunday, in an attack that shook Damascus with a series of powerful blasts and drove columns of fire into the night sky. Israel declined to comment, but Syria accused it of carrying out a raid on a military facility just north of the capital.

"What we want is primarily is to guarantee that within the chaos in Syria we don’t see Hezbollah getting stronger in such a way that would motivate it to act against us, and as a result of which find ourselves dragged into a confrontation that would lead to greater losses than in the past, because we did not act in time," Hanegbi told Army Radio.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made no mention at a public appearance on Sunday of the air strikes, but made a pointed comment about a commitment to keeping Israel secure.

"(My father) taught me that the greatest responsibility we have is to ensure Israel's security and guarantee its future," he said, dedicating a highway interchange named after his late father, Benzion Netanyahu, a historian who died a year ago.

Meanwhile, Iran condemned the attack, and urged countries in the region to stand united against the action, the Fars news agency reported Sunday.

The Fars news agency quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying that Iran condemned the strike on Syria, calling it was part of an effort by Israel to create instability and insecurity in the region. He urged countries in the region to stand against the "assault," Fars reported.

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