Netanyahu: On Syria, Israel’s finger on pulse and trigger

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the situation in Syria must be stopped and Israel will take steps to protect itself.

“Our finger must always be on the pulse. Ours is a responsible finger and if necessary, it will also be on the trigger,” Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting. “We will always know to defend our people and our state against whoever attacks us, tries to attack us or has attacked us.”

Netanyahu said the deaths of hundreds of Syrian civilians allegedly by chemical weapons — what he called “weapons of mass destruction” — were “a terrible tragedy and an awful crime.”

“This situation must not be allowed to continue,” he said, cautioning that “the most dangerous regimes in the world must not be allowed to possess the most dangerous weapons in the world.”

Netanyahu was making his first comments since the reports that hundreds of Syrians were killed last week in eastern Damascus suburbs by an alleged chemical weapons attack by the government army. The Syrian government denies the claims.

The deaths were discovered as United Nations chemical weapons investigators were in the country’s capital investigating other alleged incidents of chemical weapons attacks on civilians.

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