Netanyahu warns of Iran, Syria

JERUSALEM, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Sunday said he intends to form the widest coalition as possible in the shadow of threats from Iran and Syria.

"We have to watch out for what is happening around us. The Middle East isn't waiting for the election results, and it doesn't stop while we form a government," Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, said.


Tuesday's national elections guaranteed Netanyahu a second consecutive term as prime minister but a weaker mandate. The election results for the 19th Knesset gave Netanyahu's Likud-Beitenu party 31 seats, 11 few than the 42 held by the Likud Party and Israel Beitenu party in the last parliament before the merge.

Netanyahu directly addressed the Iranian nuclear threat and Syria's chemical weapons stockpile.

"We are continuing to monitor the lethal weapons in Syria, " Israel Radio quoted Netanyahu saying. "Iran's race to achieve nuclear capability must be stopped. We will prevent these threats from materializing. This is our first task as a government and a nation."

As the world marked International Holocaust Day, Netanyahu warned anti-Semitism has not disappeared.


"The desire to destroy Israel persists," he said.

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