Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel opposes the US-Russian-brokered cease-fire in Syria because it perpetuates Iran’s military presence in the country. Diplomatic sources said that Iran wants to establish air, land and sea bases in Lebanon, something Jerusalem cannot tolerate. Netanyahu’s objection came during a two-hour meeting the two leaders held in the Élysée Palace, after a ceremony earlier in the day marking 75 years since the roundup and deportation of more than 13,000 French Jews during the Holocaust.

Netanyahu told Israeli journalists that in addition to Hezbollah’s presence in Lebanon, Hamas is also attempting to gain a foothold there. The premier said he asked France – which has a distinct, historic relationship with Lebanon as its colonizer – to use its influence in Lebanon to work against efforts to turn the country into a base for more terrorist organizations, something that would have grave consequences.  READ MORE