Netanyahu says strength only guarantor for Israel

Israel`s PM said that "strength" was the only guarantor of security for the Jewish state given the volatile situation of the region.

Updated: Feb 05, 2012, 22:56 PM IST

Jerusalem: Israel`s hawkish Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that "strength" -- both economic
and military -- was the only guarantor of security for the
Jewish state given the volatile situation of the region.

With Iran issuing a fresh call for `wiping out` Israel,
Netanyahu called for further strengthening his country
militarily, economically and socially.

"In the past few days we received a reminder of what kind
of neighbourhood we live in," Netanyahu told his ministers at
the start of the weekly cabinet meeting today, referring to
developments in Iran and Syria.

He pointed out to a speech by Iran`s supreme leader,
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and to the reported mass killing of
civilians by Syrian troops earlier this week.

"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
neighbours and their own people alike," he added.

In a televised address on Friday, Khamenei described "the
Zionist regime" as "a cancerous tumour that must be cut out,
and God willing it will be".

"From now on we will support any group that will fight the
Zionist regime," Iran`s supreme leader had said.
It is not the first time that Iran has called upon to wipe
Israel from the world map.

"In such a region the only thing ensuring (Israel`s)
existence, security and prosperity is strength," Netanyahu
stressed.

"We shall continue to build the military, economic and
social strength of Israel; that is the only guarantee for
peace and also Israel`s only defence if peace collapses," said
the Israeli leader.

PTI