October 19, 2020

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Syria truce must not threaten Israeli security: Netanyahu

Syria truce must not threaten Israeli security: Netanyahu

JERUSALEM (AA) – A long-term peace deal for Syria must not threaten Israel’s security, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.

On the second day of a cessation-of-hostilities agreement that went into effect in Syria on midnight Friday, Netanyahu said that Israel, “from a humanitarian perspective”, welcomed attempts to end the conflict but that the Jewish state had set certain “red lines” regarding its own security.

“It must be clear that any agreement in Syria must include an end to Iranian aggression against Israel from Syrian territory,” Netanyahu said at a weekly cabinet meeting.

“We will not agree to the supply of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah from Syria and Lebanon,” he asserted.

Israel, he went on to stress, feared the prospect of militants opening a new front in the Golan Heights, a Syrian territory that Israel has occupied since 1967.

The cessation-of-hostilities deal was announced earlier this week by both Washington and Moscow.

The Daesh terrorist group and the Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, along with other unspecified groups designated terrorist organizations by the UN Security Council, are not included in the agreement.

The deal is the latest in a series of diplomatic efforts ostensibly aimed at ending the conflict, which will soon enter its sixth year.

Staffan de Mistura, the UN’s special envoy for Syria, said Friday that — if the truce holds — he hoped to see peace talks resume on March 7 in Geneva with a view to guaranteeing the delivery of humanitarian aid to populations affected by the conflict.

According to the UN, more than 250,000 people have been killed since the conflict in Syria began in 2011.