(JNS.org) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautiously welcomed a cease-fire in southern Syria that came into effect Sunday. The cease-fire was brokered by the U.S. and Russia.
The cease-fire is based on the premise that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains in power while the advance of Iranian-sponsored forces, such as terror organization Hezbollah, is inhibited.
“Israel will welcome a genuine cease-fire in Syria, but this cease-fire must not enable the establishment of a military presence by Iran and its proxies in Syria in general and in southern Syria in particular,” Netanyahu said Israel’s weekly cabinet meeting Sunday.
“I had deep discussions about this last week with U.S. Secretary of State [Rex] Tillerson and with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both told me that they understand Israel’s position and will take our demands into account,” he added.
Netanyahu also said Israel would continue to monitor developments along its borders, while “strongly upholding our red lines” to prevent the reinforcement of the Hezbollah terror group and an Iranian military presence in Syria.
The cease-fire follows reports that Russia had negotiated with Israel and Jordan to create safe zones in southern Syria to shield Israel from an Iranian-led Shi’a coalition developing on the Jewish state’s northern border.
Earlier this month, two projectiles landed in Israel’s Golan Heights from southern Syria, marking the 17th and 18th instances of errant fire hitting Israel from the Syrian Civil War in recent weeks.