Israel Rejects New Ceasefire Deal For Southern Syria

Satellite image of the compound

"We hold the Syrian regime responsible for any firing or breach of sovereignty and call on it to hold back all players active in its territory", Lieberman said in a statement. In recent months Israel has held talks with Moscow, Washington and Amman in an attempt to ensure that any agreement will define the buffer zone at least 40 kilometers from the border with the Jewish State. "This is what's happening and this is what will continue to happen". The Iranian Revolutionary Guards have been building for a long presence for its forces and militias of foreign fighters in the areas under its control, and which extend to about 50 km on the borders of Israel in the Golan.

Israel opposes any permanent presence in Syria by archenemy Iran and its Hezbollah allies, especially near the Israeli border. In a move being construed as a rebuke of Russia's role in facilitating the latest truce, Israel on Sunday endorsed a United Nations watchdog report on Syria's use of chemical weapons, saying it "unequivocally" proves Assad used poison gas and as such must be punished by the global community. However, no moves are afoot to secure the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country, which means that Iranian or Hezbollah forces will be as little as 4 miles from Israel's border on the Golan Heights.

Israel in September also shot down an Iranian-made drone sent by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah in the same area.

A US State Department official said Russian Federation had agreed "to work with the Syrian regime to remove Iranian-backed forces a defined distance" from the Golan Heights frontier with Israel, which captured the plateau in the 1967 Middle East war.

At the Israeli cabinet's weekly meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not address the new arrangements, which build upon an earlier Syrian ceasefire agreed in July.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz told The Associated Press the agreement is a positive development. In a statement, the IDF said that any attempts to invade Israeli airspace would be "responded to appropriately" by the army.

Iranian-backed forces in Syria could be left as close as five kilometers to the Israeli border under the terms of a ceasefire agreement hammered out between the US, Russia, and Jordan, according to a report this week.

Related News: