The US must attack the Assad regime in Syria in response to the alleged chemical-weapons attack in Douma, which killed dozens of people, Strategic Affairs and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said on Sunday.
Erdan, who is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s No. 2 in Likud, said he hoped US military action against the regime would be taken as it was when the Syrian Army used chemical weapons against its people in the past.
“The shocking attack shows the incredible hypocrisy of the international community focusing on Israel confronting the terrorist organization Hamas that is sending civilians to our fence, when dozens are being killed in Syria every day,” Erdan told Army Radio. “It shows the need for strengthening the presence of Americans and other international forces, because without them the genocide we are seeing will only intensify.”
The minister also said Israel must intensify its diplomatic and humanitarian efforts to help the Syrian people.
Construction Minister Yoav Gallant, a former major-general who is the security figure closest to Netanyahu, also expressed hope that military action would be taken against the Syrian leader.
“Assad is the angel of death, and the world would be better without him,” he said.
Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay said he was shocked and pained by the pictures from Douma. He said it was a reminder that Israel must rely on itself if Syrian President Bashar Assad, who he noted heads the small Alawite minority in Syria, can attack his people with the support of Russia and silence from the US.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog posted an article he wrote for The Jerusalem Post
on his Twitter page in English and Hebrew.
“More slaughter by the butcher in Damascus,” Herzog tweeted. “I have repeatedly worked and called for international action as the world stands by. We need US leadership combining decisive military action as well as diplomacy with Russia.”
Zionist Union MK Nachman Shai demanded an emergency meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to discuss the readiness of the home front for a Syrian chemical attack. He noted that gas masks distributed to Israelis when there were chemical threats from Iraq were returned when then-defense minister Moshe Ya’alon said Israel no longer faced a chemical threat.
“The Israeli approach of saying ‘Don’t worry because it will be alright’ has already been proven wrong,” Shai said. “History has proven that the unreasonable can quickly become reality.”
Such issues are expected to be discussed on Monday, when a subcommittee of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee headed by former defense minister Amir Peretz will convene to discuss the security and environmental threats to the ammonia plant in Haifa.