Netanyahu Says Iran Using Hizbullah to Make Golan '3rd Front' against Israelإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Iran is seeking to open a "third front" against Israel using Hizbullah fighters on the Syrian Golan Heights, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.
Netanyahu said Tehran's alleged attempts to entrench itself along Israel's borders was one of the biggest emerging security threats facing Tel Aviv.
"Alongside Iran's direct guidance of Hizbullah's actions in the north and Hamas' in the south, Iran is trying also to develop a third front on the Golan Heights via the thousands of Hizbullah fighters who are in southern Syria and over which Iran holds direct command," he said.
Speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said his ministers were to be briefed on "the security challenges developing around us, first and foremost Iran's attempt to increase its foothold on Israel's borders even as it works to arm itself with nuclear weapons."
An Israeli air strike inside the Syrian-controlled sector of the Golan Heights on January 18 killed six members of Hizbullah, including a senior commander, as well as a general from Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.
Hizbullah retaliated around a week later with a missile attack in the occupied Shebaa Farms that left two Israeli soldiers dead and seven others wounded. Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah later declared that his group “no longer recognizes any rules of engagement” in the conflict with Israel.
Netanyahu said that Tehran's ongoing "murderous terrorism" has "not prevented the international community from continuing to talk with Iran about a nuclear agreement that will allow it to build the industrial capacity to develop nuclear weapons."
World powers are trying to strike a deal with Iran that would prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb in return for an easing of punishing international economic sanctions.
Israel has repeatedly warned that Iran's nuclear program has military objectives, a claim Tehran denies.