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Putin and Netanyahu meet for Syria-focused talks in Moscow

11 July 2018

Asked by a reporter if he anticipated a time when the Quneitra crossing would be reopened under the United Nations -monitored armistice between Israel and Syria, and whether the two old enemies could establish "some kind of relationship", Lieberman said: "I reckon we are a long way from that, but we are not ruling out anything".

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that Israel will continue to thwart any efforts to breach its borders, adding that Jerusalem is keeping a close eye on regional developments in Iran and Syria.

The patients, Israeli medical officials said, were not the walking wounded of the seven-year-old Syrian civil war but children with chronic health problems coming across the frontier for a day's treatment in a hospital in northern Israel. "I am not sure that they are counting on the right man. Israel's real card in Syria may be Assad".

A general view of refugee tents erected in Syria near the Israeli borderline as it seen from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Israel July 3, 2018.

"At the meeting [with Putin], the prime minister will make clear that Israel will not tolerate military entrenchment by Iran or its proxies anywhere in Syria, and that Syria must abide meticulously by the 1974 separation agreement", an official Israeli statement said.

Israel has warned Iran, which is allied with the Syrian government, against building up a military presence on its doorstep. The Netanyahu government is detemined to keep fighters loyal to Assad and to Iran out of the Syrian Golan border area near Israel. Russian Federation has previously told Israel they don't have the capability of doing so, and that the Iranian presence is up to Syria. An Israeli warplane was shot down during the reprisal.

Hafez al-Assad kept the Palestinians away and brought the Iranians into Lebanon, which was under his protection.

However, there have recently been signs of an emerging compromise among key players.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was also traveling Wednesday to Moscow for a meeting with Putin. Russian Federation also has maintained warm ties with Israel and demonstrated a readiness to take its security concerns into account.

He said the UAV had been tracked long before it entered Israel, flying through both Jordanian and Syrian air space. Maybe he thinks there is a unique chance to end the Golan dispute in exchange of supporting the Assad regime to be in control over all of Syria.

That episode triggered a massive Israeli bombardment of Iranian military installations in Syria, fueling tensions that exploded in another round of rockets and counter-strikes later in the year. "In that context, we rely on peaceful diplomatic means to resolve any differences and expect both sides to show restraint".

Putin and Netanyahu meet for Syria-focused talks in Moscow