Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Sunday, March 5, 2017. (Abir Sultan, pool via AP)
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Thursday to voice opposition to what the Israeli leader charged were Iran's attempts to establish a permanent military foothold in Syria.Iran, Israel's archenemy, has been Syrian President Bashar Assad's staunchest backer and has provided militia fighters to help him.Last year, Avi Dichter, the chair of Israel's foreign affairs and defense committee, said Iran had tried several times in the past to move forces into the Syrian Golan Heights, next to territory that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.Netanyahu has said that Israel has carried out dozens of strikes to prevent weapons smuggling to the Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah via Syria.In other developments, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Sunday that Netanyahu offered a plan to form a unity government with Israel's opposition last year as part of a regional peace bid, but later backtracked.Arab countries have previously offered normalized relations with Israel in exchange for resolving the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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