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Netanyahu Opposes U.S.-Approved Syria Cease-Fire

(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he opposes the cease-fire brokered by the United States and Russia in southwest Syria, near the border with northern Israel’s Golan Heights.

On Sunday, Netanyahu told reporters in France following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron that the cease-fire that went into effect last week will allow Iran to expand its presence in Syria close to the Israeli border.

The cease-fire was announced earlier this month following a meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 conference in Hamburg, Germany.

Netanyahu said a week after the cease-fire went into effect that the agreement will not keep Iran from establishing a military presence in Syria, including an air base and naval base.

The Israeli leader said he told Macron that he opposes the cease-fire, and reportedly also expressed his opposition on Sunday evening in a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

In comments made the day the cease-fire went into effect, Netanyahu said that Israel “will welcome a genuine cease-fire in Syria, but this cease-fire must not enable the establishment of a military presence by Iran and its proxies in Syria in general and in southern Syria in particular.”

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