Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Israel has carried out "dozens" of attacks in Syria to prevent weapons transfers to Lebanon's Hezbollah.
This was the most explicit statement Netanyahu, who was visiting a training exercise of reserve military soldiers in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, has made in regards to airstrikes conducted in recent years against convoys allegedly carrying weapons in Syria, which Israel did not officially acknowledge in the past, Xinhua reported.
"We operate when we need to operate, as well as just over here across the border," Netanyahu told Israeli soldiers and journalists on Monday, pointing towards the direction of Syria.
"We have acted with dozens of attacks in order to prevent Hezbollah from receiving game-changing weapons," Netanyahu said.
Israel conquered and annexed the Israeli Golan Heights from Syria following the 1967 Six-Day War. Israel passed the Golan Heights Law extending Israeli law and administration throughout the territory in 1981. This move was condemned by the United Nations Security Council in UN Resolution 497, which stated that "the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect."
Israel claims Iran and its proxies in Syria are providing weapons to Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia militant organisation situated in southern Lebanon, against which Israel had fought a war in 2006.
The repeated attacks against convoys allegedly carrying weapons in Syria were connected to Israel by international media outlets, but Israel did not officially acknowledge these attacks.
Israeli officials only said they will operate "when and where" they see fit in order to defense Israel's security interests.