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Netanyahu: We live in a tough neighborhood

Prime minister addresses Middle East unrest, promoting hard-line course of action for Israel

Palestinians shout slogans during a march against the Russian and Chinese decision to veto a UN resolution to end the violence in Syria, Ramallah on Saturday. (Photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Palestinians shout slogans during a march against the Russian and Chinese decision to veto a UN resolution to end the violence in Syria, Ramallah on Saturday. (Photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday Israel should draw lessons from unfolding events in the Arab world, saying they proved the need for the country to continue to bolster itself militarily.

Netanyahu, speaking during the weekly meeting of government ministers, called for Israel to remain steadfast in the face of adversity.

“We have received a reminder about what kind of a neighborhood we live in,” Netanyahu said. “We heard the Iranian ruler’s remarks about the elimination of Israel. We saw the Syrian army massacre its own people. We have seen bloody events in our region. Various leaders have no moral compunctions about killing their neighbors and their own people alike.”

Netanyahu was responding to the killing over the weekend of some 330 people in the city of Homs by Syrian forces. The massacre drew wide condemnation worldwide, although the United Nations stopped short of calling for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s ouster after two members of the Security Council, China and Russia, vetoed the move.

Netanyahu added that the country’s strength was the only thing that could ensure it’s continued existence.

“We are obligated to continue to develop the military, economic and social strength of the State of Israel,” he said. “This is also the only guarantee for the existence of peace and the only defense for Israel should the peace unravel. Developing Israel’s strength is this government’s main issue.”

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