Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Israeli military positions on the Golan Heights Wednesday following a Hezbollah attack that killed two Israeli soldiers in the area last week.
Netanyahu, accompanied by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, blasted international leaders including President Barack Obama for negotiating what he said would be a "dangerous" agreement which would allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons, Israel National News reports.
The Israeli leader emphasized that he was visiting the north to see for himself the Israel Defense Force's preparations against Iranian-linked threats emerging in the Golan Heights.
Israel captured the Golan during the 1967 war following years of cross-border attacks from the Syrian side. After the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Jerusalem relinquished part of the captured area to Damascus under a U.S.-brokered ceasefire agreement with then-Syrian strongman Hafez al-Assad.
More than four decades later, Assad's son Bashar is clinging to power in a bitter battle against jihadist forces. His Syrian regime has survived thanks in large part to aid from Iran and its terrorist proxy Hezbollah, which is based in neighboring Lebanon.
Since the Israel-Syria ceasefire took effect in 1974, the Golan Heights has been relatively quiet. But Hezbollah, since its formation in the early 1980s, has turned southern Lebanon into a veritable powderkeg. In July 2006, a Hezbollah cross-border raid into Israel triggered a war that lasted almost five weeks and resulted in the death of 160 Israelis and about 1,000 Lebanese.
And, now, Israel is alarmed by signs that Iran and Hezbollah want to turn the Golan Heights into a new military front to attack the Jewish State.
A Jan. 18 Israeli airstrike killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general on the Golan Heights. Last week, Hezbollah launched an attack near the Israel-Lebanon border which killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven, heightening Israeli alarm about a heightened Iranian threat on its northern border, Israel National News reports.
"I came here with the defense minister and army commanders, to see the IDF's preparedness against emerging threats against us in Golan Heights," Netanyahu said Wednesday. "For some time, Iran has been trying to open a new front here, this front it has opened against us in addition to others from southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip."
Netanyahu was scathing in his criticism of efforts by Obama and other world leaders to broker a nuclear deal with Iran.
"Instead of leaders in the international community demanding Iran to stop facilitating terrorism in the region and around the world, they rush into an agreement that would allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons," Netanyahu declared.
"This deal was reached with the Iranian was very dangerous, dangerous for Israel, dangerous to the region, dangerous to the world -- and we will oppose it forcefully," he vowed.
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