Netanyahu Responds to Syrian Chemical Attacks

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called reports of the use of poisonous gas in Syria "terribly disturbing."

"The reported use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians is terribly disturbing," Netanyahu said in a press statement. "If verified, it will be a horrible addition to the roster of tragic crimes committed by the Syrian regime against the people of Syria."

Netanyahu also criticized Syria for preventing a U.N. team from carrying out their investigation.

"It is absurd that the U.N. investigators, who are right now in Damascus to verify use of chemical weapons, are prevented from reaching the afflicted areas by the Syrian regime," he said.

Iran is using Syria, Netanyahu said, to gauge the world's response to these kinds of "atrocities."

"Syria has become Iran's testing ground, and Iran is closely watching whether and how the world responds to the atrocities committed by Iran's client state Syria and by Iran's proxy Hezbollah against innocent civilians in Syria," he continued.

Netanyahu concluded that the Syrian regime's use of chemical warfare makes a point he has been pressing for years, especially regarding a nuclear-armed Iran.

"These events prove yet again that we simply cannot allow the world's most dangerous regimes to acquire the world's most dangerous weapons," Netanyahu said.

In a related matter, the Israeli Foreign Ministry welcomed the conviction of two Iranian terrorists in Thailand for attempting to attack Israelis.

"Israel welcomes the court verdict in Thailand in which two Iranian terrorists, Saeid Moradi and Mohammad Kharzei, were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment and 15 years in prison respectively, following their attempt to attack Israelis in Bangkok in February 2012," a ministry statement read.

"This bomb plot was part of an ongoing Iranian terror campaign that targets Israeli and Western objectives," the statement read. "This is evidenced, among other things, by the use of identical explosives in the near simultaneous attacks which were carried out by Iranian terrorists in Bangkok, New Delhi and Tbilisi. In the latter two cases, it should be remembered that the perpetrators managed to affix magnetic explosives to Israeli diplomatic vehicles."

The statement called on all nations to fight terrorism "with determination."

"Israel calls on the international community to continue to fight terrorism with determination -- in accordance with the legal tools at its disposal -- and to bring to justice those involved in such activities."

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