Netanyahu on Syria: We will do what is necessary to defend ourselves

In an interview with Ynet News, Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned that while the country is not looking for an escalation, Israel will respond to any actions taken against it.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pictured next to Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, among senior IDF officials, August 4, 2020 (photo credit: AMOS BEN GERSHOM, GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pictured next to Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, among senior IDF officials, August 4, 2020
(photo credit: AMOS BEN GERSHOM, GPO)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Israel’s enemies from trying to attack the Jewish State Tuesday, hours after the IDF struck targets in Syria.

“We hit a cell and now we hit the dispatchers," the prime minister said. "We will do what is necessary in order to defend ourselves. I suggest to all of them, including Hezbollah, to consider this. These are not vain words; they have the weight of the State of Israel and the IDF behind them and this should be taken seriously.”
Netanyahu had just completed a tour of the IDF Home Front Command headquarters in Ramla along with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who warned in an interview with Ynet News that while the country is not looking for an escalation, Israel will respond to any actions taken against it.
"No one should try us. We won't allow [Syrian President Bashar] Assad to facilitate terror actions against the State of Israel, we won't allow Iran to open a branch of terror in Syria," said Gantz. "We will act against this. Wherever someone acts against the State of Israel, the State of Israel will respond. We're not looking for an escalation."
On Monday night Israel Air Force jets and attack helicopters struck Syrian Arab Army positions in response to an attempted attack that was thwarted along the Syrian border the night before. The strikes targeted SAA observation posts, intelligence-gathering equipment, anti-aircraft cannons, and command-and-control infrastructure.
"The IDF sees the Syrian regime as responsible for all operations carried out in its territory and will continue to act with determination against all attacks on the sovereignty of the State of Israel," the IDF said in a statement.
Syrian state media confirmed that attacks took place with the official SANA news outlet saying that the country’s air defenses were activated by the “hostile targets” over sites southwest of Damascus.
According to a military source quoted by SANA, the strikes caused only material damage and no injuries or casualties.
Shortly before the strikes in Quneitra, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that airstrikes by unidentified aircraft had targeted sites on Monday morning belonging to pro-Iranian militias in Albukamal in the Deir Ezzor area of Syria near the Iraqi-Syrian border. Deaths and injuries were reported in the strikes, which damaged armories and other sites belonging to the militias.
According to SOHR, about 15 pro-Iranian militants of Iraqi nationality were killed during the strikes in Albukamal.
On Sunday night troops from the elite Maglan reconnaissance unit spotted a cell with a number of terrorists planting explosive devices along the border. The IDF force and an aircraft opened fire together on the four-member cell and hit them, killing them.
But according to the pro-regime al-Watan newspaper, four civilian residents of the village of Ein al-Qadi near the Syrian town of Quneitra were killed after being struck by an IDF shell as they were walking near the ceasefire line between the two countries.
Later on Monday, the IDF said that during an investigation of the scene-some 25 meters from the perimeter fence inside Israeli territory, weapons and a bag containing a number of explosive devices were found.
While IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman said the military cannot say for certain which group is behind the foiled attack, he stressed that the IDF considers the Syrian regime responsible for “any action taken from its territory” and will not allow for any violation of Israeli sovereignty.
Though tensions remain high along the northern border over concerns of an attack by Hezbollah, it is believed the cell that was killed on Sunday night was sent by Iranian-backed militias and not by the Lebanese terror group.
The IDF’s Northern Command has been on high alert over the past 10 days, bracing for an attack by Hezbollah following the death of an operative in an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria.
Last week the IDF thwarted an attack by a Hezbollah cell after they crossed the border – also known as the Blue Line – several meters into sovereign Israeli territory and were identified by the IDF, which opened fire on them causing them to flee back into Lebanon without firing at IDF troops.