As Obama stalls on Syria, Netanyahu says Israel is 'calm and confident in itself'

PM: "The citizens of Israel know very well that we are prepared for any possible scenario."

September 1, 2013 12:51
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sept. 1, 2013.

Netanyahu cabinet 1.9.13. (photo credit: Emil Salman / Pool)

In his first public comments since US President Barack Obama announced Saturday he was seeking Congressional approval for a limited strike on Syria, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sought Sunday to illustrate Israel's sangfroid. 

"Israel is calm and confident in itself," Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.  "The citizens of Israel know very well that we are prepared for any possible scenario," he said, without mentioning Syria or referring directly to Obama's statement.

"Israel's citizens also need to know that our enemies have very good reasons not to test our strength – and they know why," he added.

Over the last week, Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, and Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz have repeatedly said that Israel was not involved in the Syrian civil war, but would respond "fiercely" if attacked.

Israeli leaders have remained completely quiet on how they thought the US or the west should respond to Syrian President Basher Assad's use of chemical weapons against his own people.

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