Netanyahu Visits Syria Border, Issues Warning: Israel Prepared for Any Scenario, Don't Test Us

Members of the security cabinet tour the northern border amid rising tensions, after Lebanese leader caution against Israel's 'direct threat to stability'

Netanyahu and members of the security cabinet touring the Israel-Syria border, February 6, 2018.
Kobi Gideon / GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of the security cabinet toured the Israel-Syria border in the Golan Heights on Tuesday. During the tour, Netanyahu said that Israel "seeks peace, but we are prepared for any scenario, and I do not suggest anyone test us."

At an event later on Tuesday Netanyahu said Israel has "extraordinary determination to defend our country," adding that "this is a great change in the history of our people, our ability to defend ourselves by ourselves."

The prime minister was referring to the rising tensions on Israel's northern border. Earlier on Tuesday, Lebanon's three top leaders accused Israel of threatening the stability of the border region between the two countries.

President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri agreed to act to prevent Israel from building a wall on Lebanese land at the frontier, and threatening an offshore energy block in disputed waters. 

The three leaders met to study the recent "Israeli threats, and saw in them ... a direct threat to the stability" of the border region, the president's office said in a statement. 

Members of the security cabinet visit the Israel-Syria border in the Golan Heights, February 6, 2018.
Kobi Gideon / GPO

Last week, Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman commented on the possibility of conflict with Lebanon breaking out, saying that Israeli soldiers may have to operate deep in Lebanese territory and maneuver on the ground on the battlefield if war breaks out.

“No one is looking for adventures, but if we have no choice the goal is to end [the fighting] as quickly and as unequivocally as possible,” he said at a conference of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. “Regrettably, what we have in all the conflicts in the Middle East is that without soldiers on the ground it does not come to an end.”

“We will not see pictures like those from the Second Lebanon War in which the residents of Beirut were at the beach and in Tel Aviv [they were] in bomb shelters," he added. "If in Israel they sit in shelters, then in the next fighting all of Beirut will be in shelters.”