U.S. Strike in Syria: Israel Lauds Trump for 'Setting Example for Free World'

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, April 2, 2017.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, April 2, 2017.Credit: Dan Balilty/AP

Israel praised the U.S. on Friday for striking an Assad regime military base in response to the chemical weapons attack launched on Syrian citizens earlier this week.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office released a statement saying President Trump sent a strong message that the use and distribution of chemical weapons won't be tolerated.

The Prime Minister's Office added that Israel hopes Trump's powerful message against Assad's government will be heard not only in Damascus, but also in Tehran, Pyongyang "and elsewhere."

Later in the evening, Vice President Mike Pence called Netanyahu to thank Israel in Trump's name for its support for U.S. actions in Syria, a statement by the Prime Minister's office said. Pence also briefed Netanyahu about the strikes' details.

In their call, Netanyahu stressed the need to prevent the proliferation and usage of chemical arms, the statement said.

President Reuven Rivlin joined the praise, stating that "in the face of terrible use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians, the Trump administration and U.S. Army's determined actions are an appropriate and worthy reaction." 

"The United States serves as an example for the entire free world," said Rivlin.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog called the strike "an important message for the butcher in Damascus," saying it was carried out "at the right time and at the right place," while Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said the move had both "moral and strategic value."

Earlier, a senior official said that Israel had been notified by U.S. ahead of time about its intention to strike Syria overnight.

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