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Friday, December 9, 2016

Liberman: Israel stopped Hezbollah from getting chemical weapons

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman revealed Thursday that Israel had prevented the transfer of chemical weapons to Hezbollah.

"Israel has no interest in intervening in the civil war in Syria, our policies and our positions are very clear and are based on three red lines: we will not allow any harm to come to Israeli citizens, we will not allow any harm to the sovereignty of the State of Israel and we will not allow the smuggling of sophisticated weapons or chemical weapons from Syria to Lebanon for Hezbollah,” Liberman told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Earlier in the week Liberman told European diplomats that Israel had prevented the smuggling of "sophisticated weapons" and "weapons of mass destruction" to Hezbollah through Syria.

Israel is “working primarily to protect the security of our citizens, defend our sovereignty, and try to prevent the smuggling of sophisticated weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction from Syria to Hezbollah,” Liberman told the diplomats.

Israel has in recent years maintained a policy of refusing to comment on alleged airstrikes against weapons convoys in Syria.

Israel has expressed concern that the Assad regime could transfer chemical weapons which it is supposed to have destroyed as part of a Russian brokered deal which prevented the launching of airstrikes against regime targets by the US after a regime attack using sarin gas killed an estimated 1,400 people, including 400 children, in Ghouta in August, 2013.

Both western intelligence agencies and Syrian opposition groups have also expressed concern that the Assad regime may be transferring chemical weapons to Hezbollah. Fahad al-Masri, a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army said in 2013: “We, along with many other international sources learned, through documents and other evidence about the transfer of Syrian chemical weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

The UN has reported that regime forces using chemical weapons with chlorine after it was supposed to have given up or destroyed its entire chemical arsenal.