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Departing US, Netanyahu says he’ll head straight for army HQ upon landing

Boarding his plane from Washington to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he plans to head straight to IDF headquarters after landing in Tel Aviv Tuesday afternoon.

“We will deal with these issues,” he says. “We gave a very powerful response. Hamas needs to know that we won’t hesitate to go in [to Gaza] and take any required steps.”

He says the upcoming election in two weeks’ time is not a consideration. “This is unrelated to anything, not to any date, but only to Israel’s security needs.”

On the US recognition of the Golan, Netanyahu says it “is something that will be remembered for generations. It took us 50 years to achieve it.”

US President Donald Trump holds up a signed Proclamation on the Golan Heights, alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, March 25, 2019. (SAUL LOEB / AFP)

On Syrian claims to the plateau, he says US recognition underlines “one important principle in international relations: When you start wars of aggression, and lose territory, don’t come back and claim it later. It belongs to us.” Citing ancient synagogues discovered in the Golan. he says: “We returned there. The Golan is ours by historic right, and because of the right to self defense.”

— Raphael Ahren

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