Israel 'Not Considering' Handing Golan Heights Over to Syria

© AFP 2022 / JALAA MAREYDruze men at the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights look out across the southwestern Syrian province of Quneitra, visible across the border on July 7, 2018
Druze men at the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights look out across the southwestern Syrian province of Quneitra, visible across the border on July 7, 2018  - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.09.2021
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The patch of Syrian land was captured by Israel at the end of the Six-Day War in 1967 after Syrian forces attacked Israeli positions during Tel Aviv's confrontation with Egypt. Most of global community does not recognise Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, with the US changing its stance only in 2019.
Tel Aviv is not considering handing over the Golan Heights to Syria, Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has said. The minister explained that no talks with Damascus are taking place at the moment and are unlikely to be held in the future.
"No negotiations taking place right now between Israel and Syria. There is not much to negotiate actually aside from security issues. Israel is not even considering, and never will, returning the Golan Heights to Syria, there is no much room for negotiations right now"
Yair Lapid
Israel's Foreign Minister
This is the first time the new Israeli government has spoken out regarding its position on the Golan Heights issue since Naftali Bennet became prime minister, replacing veteran politician Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this year.
Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967. Israeli forces captured most of the region in response to an artillery and air offensive by the Arab Republic, which came to Egypt's aid in the armed conflict. The war itself started with Israeli airstrikes against Egyptian military air bases, but Tel Aviv insists it was a pre-emptive strike.
Israeli soldiers observe Al Qunaitra, Syria, across the border from Mount Bental in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, prior to a visit by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israel's Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi. - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.06.2021
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State Dept: US Has Not Changed Stance on Recognizing Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights
Over the years, Israel extended its authority to the Golan Heights, appointing officials and holding local elections there, despite protests from some local communities and a lack of international recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the land. However, the administration of US President Donald Trump changed Washington’s longstanding stance on the issue in 2019, officially recognising the Golan Heights as part of Israel.
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