Israel Backs A ‘Genuine Ceasefire’ in Syria, But Won’t Accept Iran on Border

Will peace return to the Israel-Syria border region?
Golan Heights UN Peacekeepers. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Wolfgang Grebien.

The latest ceasefire in Syria—which CNN reported was brokered by the United States and Russia and covers the southern region that includes the border with Israel—may be a move towards reducing the violence in that nation’s bloody civil war. But while Israel supports that, the Jewish State won’t let a ceasefire provide cover for Iran to threaten Israel at the border.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear on Sunday that while his nation “will welcome a genuine ceasefire in Syria,” at the same time the ceasefire “must not enable the establishment of a military presence by Iran and its proxies in Syria,” according to comments released by his office.

Said the Israeli leader, “For our part we will continue to monitor developments beyond our borders while strongly upholding our red lines: Prevent the strengthening of Hezbollah via Syria, with emphasis on the acquisition of precision weapons, prevent Hezbollah—or Iranian forces—from establishing a ground presence along our border, and prevent the establishment of an Iranian military presence in Syria as a whole.”

Israel, according to media reports, has repeatedly bombed targets in Syria to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining advanced weapons. And recently, as the civil war in Syria raged in the southern portion of the country, Israel was repeatedly hit with mortars from Syria that “spilled over” from the fighting there. Israel retaliated against regime military targets responsible for the incidents.

Hezbollah and Iran have been involved in Syria backing their ally in the regime there. Israel is concerned that as a result of the Iranian presence in Syria during the civil war that the Islamic Republic could set up a permanent military presence in Israel’s neighbor to the north.

Netanyahu said he has raised these concerns with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Said Netanyahu on Sunday, “Both told me that they understand Israel’s position and will take our demands into account.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, July 9, 2017)


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