Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday informed Russian President Vladimir Putin of his “red lines” regarding the security of Israel’s northern borders, and stressed that the Jewish state was determined to maintain its control of the Golan Heights.
“I have come to Russia to step up coordination on security matters, to prevent mistakes, misunderstandings,” Netanyahu said during the two leaders’ meeting in Moscow. “We are not going back to the days when rockets were fired at our communities and our children from the top of the Golan… and so, with an agreement or without, the Golan Heights will remain part of [Israel’s] sovereign territory.”
The prime minister also stressed that Israel would do “everything” in its power to block Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah from obtaining advanced weapons, and was working to assure that no new “terror front” appeared on the Golan Heights.
The issues of the Syrian civil war and the ownership of the Golan had been expected to top the agenda at the meeting. Russia has been carrying out air raids in Syria in support of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad since September. And although Moscow recently announced it would withdraw many of its troops from the war-torn country, Russian planes still regularly fly sorties there.
Israel is interested in making sure that Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed terror groups are not able to use a power vacuum on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights to set up a base near the border for attacks against Israel.
Full article: Israel will never leave Golan, Netanyahu tells Putin (The Times of Israel)