Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed, during a dedication ceremony of an ancient synagogue on the Golan Heights, Israel’s sovereignty over the territory, stressing that unless the Golan Heights remains under the control of the Jewish state, the Islamic Republic of Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah would reach the shores of the Kinneret, the Hebrew word for the Sea of Galilee. According to the Israeli Prime Minister “Today we see what is happening over the border – Iran’s attempts to establish a military presence and the aggression of terrorist fanatics. We will continue to stand strong and determined against all of these. Israel on the Golan Heights is a guarantee for stability in the surrounding area. Israel on the Golan Heights is a solid reality based on ancient rights. Israel on the Golan Heights is a fact that the international community must recognize and as long as it depends on me the Golan Heights will always remain under Israeli sovereignty because otherwise we would have Iran and Hezbollah on the shores of the Kinneret.” The Israeli leader further underscored Jerusalem’s resolve to thwart Iranian attempts of establish itself militarily along Israel’s frontier – vowing to continue the IDF’s determined actions against the Islamic Republic’s malign activities that pose a direct threat to the Jewish state. “Iran and Hezbollah are trying constantly to establish a force opposite us that would operate against the Golan Heights and the Galilee. We are thwarting this and as long as it depends on me we will continue to do so. We will continue to act with determination against Iran’s attempts to open an additional front against us on the Golan Heights, and in Syria we will act against all attempts to transfer lethal weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon,” Netanyahu stated. After announcing an upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister stressed that Moscow understands Jerusalem’s commitment to Israel’s security and understands the importance of maintaining security coordination between the IDF and the Russian military. He declared that “I decided with President Putin on the important security coordination between the IDF and the Russian military, and of course together we have developed good relations between Russia and Israel. I know that President Putin understands my commitment to the security of Israel and I know that he also understands the importance that I ascribe to the Golan Heights, that we all ascribe to the Golan Heights and to the heritage of Israel.”
The anticipated meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Putin comes amid Russia’s deployment of advanced S-300 air defense systems to Syria’s military, which according to a Russian military source ‘were provided to Damascus free of charge.’ According to Russia’s state news agency TASS, the “three battalion’ sets of S-300PM systems” that consist of eight launchers each, “were previously deployed at one of the Russian aerospace forces’ regiments which now uses the S-400 Triumf systems.” The report further noted that the S-300 systems were delivered along with 100 surface-to-air guided missiles for each battalion. It is important to note that the S-300 system, which is considered to be one of the most advanced surface-to-air missile systems in the world, has a radius of some 200 kilometers – prompting a new challenge for the security of the Jewish state, as it would cover more than 140 kilometers of Israel’s airspace, if the Syrian military would deploy an S-300 battery near its capital, Damascus.