In a thinly veiled threat directed at Syria, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned that any future provocation against Israel from its northern neighbors would end “very badly” for them.
“I strongly suggest to our neighbors from the north not to try and provoke or threaten us because we take these threats seriously,” Liberman said at a ceremony honoring fallen Bedouin soldiers.
Liberman was referring specifically to comments made by Syrian deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad, who told a Lebanese television outlet Sunday that Israel would “pay a heavy price” for carrying out airstrikes in Syria.
The defense minister told the attendees at the ceremony in the Galilee that Israel “hopes that one day the Middle East will become an area of peace, cooperation and coexistence. But unfortunately, just today, we heard threats from our northern border, and I’m referring to the remarks made by the Syrian deputy foreign minister.”
Liberman warned the Syrians “not to test us.”
“I advise against entering into a confrontation with Israel. It will end badly for them, very badly,” he said.
The defense minister praised the the contributions of Bedouin soldiers, who he said “help daily in preventing terror attacks in Israel.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday attended memorials marking massive bombing attacks on the Israeli Embassy and a Jewish community center here, accusing Iran of continuing to export terror and asserting that Israel will continue to fight Iranian aggression.
“Israel has been and will continue to be a spearhead in the struggle against global terrorism, and we will continue to act with determination, in various ways, to defend ourselves from the aggression and terrorism of Iran and against terrorism in general,” he said at an event at the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina Jewish community center, known as AMIA.
Hours after landing in Buenos Aires, the prime minister’s delegation headed to the site of the former Israeli embassy, which was rocked by a suicide bombing on March 17, 1992.
Twenty-nine people were killed in the Iranian-sponsored attack, including four members of Israel’s foreign service, the deadliest ever attack on an Israeli mission. Three Israelis whose loved ones were killed accompanied the prime minister from Israel for the memorial.
“Iran stood behind these events,” Netanyahu said at a ceremony at the site, referring to Iran’s role in orchestrating both the 1992 embassy attack and the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994.
“We are determined to fight Iran’s terrorism, and we are determined to prevent it from establishing itself near our border,” he declared.
“It seems that as long as there are successes against IS, it creates no less of a problem, IS goes out, Iran goes in, IS withdraws, Iran takes over,” he said.
“No country is immune from Islamic extreme terrorism. The solution needs to be common, together, with no hesitation,” he added.
After the brief ceremony, Netanyahu unveiled a plaque at the site. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the people of Israel bow their heads in memory of the terror attack on the Embassy of Israel in Argentina 25 years ago,” it reads in Hebrew, Spanish and English.
Netanyahu also spoke at a memorial for the AMIA Jewish Center victims, which was bombed on July 18, 1994. Eighty-five people were killed by the blast, which was carried out by a 21-year-old Hezbollah operative sent by Iran.
Netanyahu called for the perpetrators of the attack to be prosecuted.
“It is time to hold Iran fully responsible in a public and final way. It is time to get justice for the victims. It is time to denounces the perpetrators,” he said, speaking to an audience of about 150 local Jewish leaders.
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