Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting, lamented the recent deaths from “weapons of mass destruction” in Syria, and warned that Israel remained ready, with a “responsible finger” poised “on the trigger” if necessary to protect the Jewish state.
“What happened in Syria is both a terrible tragedy and an awful crime,” Netanyahu said. “Our hearts go out to the women, children and babies, the civilians who were so brutally attacked by weapons of mass destruction.”
Last week, Syrian rebel forces battling the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad said that approximately 1,300 people had died during an overnight strike on a suburb of Damascus. The rebels alleged Assad’s forces used chemical weapons in the attack, pointing to symptoms among the victims of extreme exposure to toxins.
Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon supported the rebel’s claim at the time, telling reporters, “In Syria, the regime has used chemical weapons and it’s not the first time.”
“From this we draw three conclusions,” Netanyahu continued, “One, this situation must not be allowed to continue. Two, the most dangerous regimes in the world must not be allowed to possess the most dangerous weapons in the world. And three, we expect that this will stop, of course, but we must always remember our sages’ ancient principle: ‘If we are not for ourselves, who will be for us?’”
“That is to say, our finger must always be on the pulse. Ours is a responsible finger and if necessary, it will also be on the trigger. We will always know to defend our people and our state against whoever attacks us, tries to attack us or has attacked us. This is the principle that has consistently, constantly and responsibly guided this government, and thus it will continue,” he concluded.