JERUSALEM (Rahnuma) : Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday addressed this year’s conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington.
Speaking via videoconference, Netanyahu addressed the latest escalations between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, saying Israel was “prepared to do a lot more” against the latter.
“In the last 24 hours, the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] destroyed major Hamas terrorist installations on a scale not seen since the end of the military operation in Gaza four years ago,” Netanyahu asserted.
“We will do what is necessary to defend our people and to defend our state,” he added.
He went on to thank U.S. President Donald Trump for his decision this week to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
“Yesterday at the White House, President Trump again made history,” Netanyahu said. “He formally recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”
“Israel holds the high ground, and we shall never, ever give it up,” he added.
Netanyahu also praised continued support for Israel by both the Republican and Democratic parties, saying: “That is how it has always been, and that’s how it should always be.”
“I can tell you that alliance [between the U.S. and Israel] has never been stronger,” he added.
Israel has long lobbied Washington to recognize its claim over the Golan Heights, but previous U.S. administrations had refrained from doing so.
Israel seized the strategic plateau from Syria during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and continues to occupy roughly two-thirds of the wider Golan region.
In 1981, it officially annexed the territory in a move unanimously rejected at the time by the UN Security Council.