Jan 23, 2022

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel opposes the cease-fire in southern Syria that came into effect July 9.

After initially cautiously welcoming the cease-fire, Netanyahu told reporters during his visit to France Sunday that the Syria deal brokered by the U.S. and Russia perpetuates the presence of Iranian forces near Israel—a concern the prime minister has repeatedly voiced in recent months.

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin recently agreed to implement the cease-fire on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany. The U.S. and Russia had previously conducted backchannel talks with Israel on the issue of creating safe zones in southern Syria to shield the Jewish state from an Iranian-led Shi’a coalition developing on its northern border.

In recent weeks, there have been nearly 20 instances of errant fire from the Syrian Civil War hitting Israel’s Golan Heights.

The U.S. and Russia will ensure Israel’s interests are taken into account during future talks on safe zones in southern Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.