Netanyahu Says Will Discuss Iranian Aggression on Northern Border With Putin

On the backdrop of the arrival of the S-300 from Russia to Syria, Netanyahu warned that if Israel withdraws from the Golan Heights, 'Iran and Hezbollah will sit on the shores of the Sea of Galilee'

FILE Photo: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, September 2018.
Emil Salman

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he will discuss preventing Iran and Hezbollah's entrenchment across Israel's northern border in his upcoming meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

Netanyahu said Putin understands the importance of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights.

Speaking at an inauguration of a heritage site in the Golan Heights, Netanyahu addressed the security situation on the northern border against the backdrop of Russia's delivery of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Syria.

"Today we see what is happening over the border – Iran's attempts to establish a military presence and the aggression of terrorist fanatics. We will continue to stand strong and determined against all of these. Israel on the Golan Heights is a guarantee for stability in the surrounding area," Netanyahu said.

Stressing that Israel is foiling their establishment and will "continue to act determinately against attempts to transfer deadly weapons to Hezbollah," Netanyahu added that Israeli presence in the Golan is "a solid reality based on ancient rights."

Netanyahu stressed that relations between Russia and Israel are in a good place. "I know that President Putin understands my commitment to Israel's security, and I know that he also understands the importance I attach to the Golan Heights, which we all attribute to the Golan Heights and to Israel's heritage."

In recent months Yair Lapid, Yesh Atid's chairman, has been pushing a line similar to Netanyahu, stating that Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights is vital to its security.

Israel captured most of the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967. The Golan Heights currently forms a buffer between Israel and Syria of about 1,200 square kilometers (460 square miles). Once willing to consider returning the Golan for peace with Syria, Israel has argued in recent years that the civil war in Syria and the presence of an Iranian garrison backing Damascus show they need to keep it.