Source: Israel Hayom
By Israel Hayom Staff and Associated Press
As global jihadist forces have taken the place of the Syrian army across the northern border, Israel is determined to keep both infiltrators and terrorists out through the construction of the northern security fence, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday during the weekly cabinet meeting.
“Last week, I visited the security fence that we are building on the southern border,” Netanyahu said.
“The visit took place on the day we completed the long section, hundreds of kilometers, between Kerem Shalom and the area around Eilat. The result of building the fence is that we have completely stopped the entry of infiltrators into Israel. In the past seven months, no infiltrators entered Israel’s cities.
“This was one of the largest engineering endeavors in the history of the State of Israel and I have directed that this team not be disbanded and continue until the section in the area around Eilat is finished, which will occur in a few weeks, and even continue work along other borders, especially our border with Syria. We intend to erect an identical fence, with a few changes based on the actual territory, along the Golan Heights. We know that on the other side of our border with Syria today, the Syrian army has moved away, and in its place, global jihadist forces have moved in.
“Therefore, we will defend this border against both infiltration and terrorism, just as we are successfully doing on the Sinai border. I also submit to the cabinet the fact that the Syrian regime is very unstable, that the question of chemical weapons here worries us and that we are coordinating our intelligence and readiness with the U.S. and others so that we might be prepared for any scenario and possibility that could arise.”
Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad spoke Sunday in a rare speech addressing the nation, his first since June.
Assad said his country was being subjected to an unprecedented attack and that the conflict could only be solved through a popular movement.
As in previous speeches, he said his forces were fighting groups of “murderous criminals” and jihadist elements, and denied there was an uprising against his family’s decades-long rule.
He struck a defiant tone, saying Syria will not take orders from anyone.
He called on all Syrians to take part in an initiative that would end the nearly 22 months of conflict, but did not give any details on the plan.