Netanyahu, Jordan’s Abdullah meet over chemical weapons in Syria

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah II in a secret meeting in Jordan talked about chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war.

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Unnamed senior Israeli officials confirmed the meeting to Israeli media outlets on Wednesday. The meeting was first reported earlier in the week by the London-based Arabic language daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

Netanyahu and Abdullah discussed whether Syrian President Bashar Assad would use chemical weapons against rebels in the civil war and whether they could fall into the hands of radical elements such as Islamist militants or Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, according to reports.

Israel reportedly has asked Jordan twice in recent weeks for permission to attack Syria’s chemical weapons facilities, according to Haaretz, citing a report by Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic. Jordan reportedly has told Israel that it is not yet the time for such an attack.

“The Syrian Air Force has attacked hundreds of Syrian civilians and they do not hesitate to use any means,” Netanyahu said Thursday at Hatzerim Air Base at the Air Force Flight Academy graduation ceremony. “Israel is monitoring developments in Syria and will do its utmost against this threat and against all threats.”

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