Reuters Jul 22, 2012 – 1:57 PM ET
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opens the weekly cabinet meeting at his office on July 22, 2012 in Jerusalem, Israel.
WASHINGTON — The “great threat” to Israel from the Syrian conflict is that the Damascus government may collapse and its stock of chemical weapons and missiles fall into the hands of the Lebanese Islamist group Hezbollah, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.
Interviewed on the U.S. “Fox News Sunday” television program, Netanyahu said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government would fall, but he was more concerned about a chaotic “regime collapse” that would leave Syria’s weapons sites unguarded than a regime change.
“We certainly don’t want to be exposed to chemical weapons falling into the hands of Hezbollah or some other terror groups. … It’s a great threat,” he said.
“We will have to consider our action. Do I seek action? No. Do I preclude it? No,” Netanyahu said when asked whether Israel would act alone or prefer the United States to take the lead.