Israel bombed Syrian army posts following a roadside bomb attack that wounded four Israeli soldiers.
The growing number of jihadists and Hezbollah elements pose a threat to Israel.
Netanyahu told reporters, “Our policy is clear. We hurt those who hurt us.”
Israel launched air strikes on Wednesday against Syrian military sites in response to a roadside bombing that wounded four of its soldiers, but both sides signaled they were not seeking further escalation.
The Syrian army, embroiled in a civil war, said one soldier was killed and seven were wounded in the air raids on three targets. Although Damascus condemned the Israeli attacks, it stopped short of any direct threat of retaliation and affirmed its focus on defeating insurgents.
Israel, by announcing the air raids, as opposed to its official silence about past strikes on arms from Syria believed destined for Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrillas, appeared intent on delivering a message of deterrence to President Bashar al-Assad.
“Our policy is clear. We hurt those who hurt us,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet in public remarks.
“Syrian elements not only allowed but also cooperated in the attacks on our forces,” he said, and by taking military action now the Jewish state wanted to ensure calm was re-established along its northern frontier.
Early this morning, our aircraft targeted Syrian army positions that aided yesterday's attack against #IDF soldiers http://t.co/s1lpOfqeqk
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) March 19, 2014