JERUSALEM (JTA) — The situation in Syria, including the death of hundreds of Syrian civilians allegedly by chemical weapons, must be stopped, and Israel will take steps to protect itself, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
“Our finger must always be on the pulse. Ours is a responsible finger and if necessary, it will also be on the trigger. We will always know to defend our people and our state against whoever attacks us, tries to attack us or has attacked us. This is the principle that has consistently, constantly and responsibly guided this government, and thus it will continue,” Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.
Netanyahu said the civilian deaths by what he called “weapons of mass destruction” were both “a terrible tragedy and an awful crime.”
“This situation must not be allowed to continue,” Netanyahu said, and he cautioned that “the most dangerous regimes in the world must not be allowed to possess the most dangerous weapons in the world.”
It was Netanyahu’s first comments on reports that hundreds of Syrians were killed last week in eastern Damascus suburbs by an alleged chemical weapons attack by the government army. The government denies the claims. The deaths were discovered as United Nations chemical weapons investigators were in the country’s capital investigating other alleged incidents of chemical weapons attacks on civilians.