Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman acknowledged that Israel was responsible for recent attacks in Syria, saying on Wednesday that they were meant to prevent “advanced weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction” from reaching Hezbollah.
Speaking to ambassadors from the European Union, Liberman did not specify what incident or incidents he was referring to, speaking only about “what was done in Syria,” according to a statement from his office.
“We are working, first and foremost, to defend the safety of our citizens and to protect our sovereignty, and we are trying to prevent the smuggling of advanced weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction from Syria to Hezbollah,” he said.
His office refused to expand on what weapons of mass destruction Hezbollah may have been trying to acquire. In the past, however, Israeli officials, including former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, have expressed concerns that the terrorist group may specifically receive chemical weapons from the Syrian regime.
During the meeting with EU officials, the defense minister also laid out his view for how Israel would like to see the Syrian civil war resolved and his skepticism at the prospects of a peace deal with the Palestinians in the near future.
On Wednesday morning, a bombing near a Damascus military airport was blamed on Israel.
Last week, Israeli planes also reportedly struck both a weapons site near the Syrian capital and a Hezbollah convoy, causing some large explosions but also no casualties.
In his remarks, the defense minister insisted that Israel is not interested in getting involved in the Syrian civil war, but will work to defend itself.
Israel is working to keep chemical weapons out of Hezbollah’s hands, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Thursday, clarifying comments a day earlier that hinted the terror group was attempting to obtain mass-casualty arms.
“Our policies and our positions are very clear and are based on three red lines: We won’t allow any harm to the citizens of the State of Israel, we won’t allow any harm to the sovereignty of the State of Israel and we will not allow the smuggling of high-quality advanced weapons and chemical weapons from Syria to Lebanon for Hezbollah,” Liberman said.
The comments echoed a statement he made a day earlier to ambassadors from the European Union addressing recent airstrikes in Syria.
“We are working, first and foremost, to defend the safety of our citizens and to protect our sovereignty, and we are trying to prevent the smuggling of advanced weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction from Syria to Hezbollah,” Liberman told the European ambassadors.
Asked to clarify what weapons of mass destruction were being moved late Wednesday, a defense ministry spokesman said there would be no comment.