Netanyahu: Israel has 'long arm'

Dec. 27, 2012 at 1:57 PM

JERUSALEM, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told graduating air force pilots Thursday they are becoming part of the country's "long arm" of defense.

Netanyahu, speaking at an air force ceremony, said his government is following the Syrian conflict closely and will do "whatever it takes" to defend Israel if Syrian President Bashar Assad or rebels use chemical weapons, Haaretz reported. Netanyahu also suggested Iran could be a target.

"Today you are becoming part of the long arm of the state of Israel," Netanyahu said. "We have strengthened many muscles and tendons of this arm.

"Israel's hand is offered in peace to those who are poised for peace, and those who threaten us, both near and far, they should know that our long arm will strike with force in order to protect Israel."

Officials have confirmed that Netanyahu had a secret meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan to discuss Syria.

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