10:06 GMT +323 September 2018
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    Israeli-occupied Golan Heights shows smoke billowing from the Syrian side of the border

    Syria Will Never Agree to Israeli 'Occupation' of Golan Heights – Envoy to UN

    © AFP 2018 / JALAA MAREY
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    Relations between Damascus and Tel Aviv have recently escalated, as Syrian military infrastructure has reportedly been subjected to Israeli airstrikes on numerous occasions.

    During a UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East situation, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jaafari has once again reiterated Damascus’ adherence to the so-called pre-June 1967 line, re-establishing borders from before the Six Day War, stressing that the country’s sovereign right on the “occupied” Golan Heights is non-negotiable, and the territory captured by Israel should be completely restored.

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    According to the UN envoy, some UNSC member-states have opted for a selective approach and the double standards policy, indulging in empty talk about international law, human rights, and the inalienable principles of the UN Charter while, at the same time, they turn a blind eye to the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights, al-Jaafari said.

    “Where have those states and their talk about counterterrorism and the international humanitarian law been when Syrian citizens were arrested and arbitrarily taken to Israeli jails, just as what happened to Sudqi al-Maqt, who was re-arrested because of his audio and video documentation of the close cooperation between the Israeli occupation forces and the Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations,” al-Jaafari said during the meeting.

    Al-Jaafari proceeded to say that the United States has always protected Israel, granting it “immunity,” despite the fact that Tel Aviv has consistently violated UNSC resolutions, demanding that the pre-June 1967 status quo be restored. The UN official also denounced Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians, recalling the recent developments in the country – the Israeli military turned to violence in Gaza over the last few weeks of Land Day protests, as Palestinians called for the return of their lands, seized in 1976 to set up Israeli settlements.

    READ MORE: Top Israeli General Warns of 'Increased Chances of War' in Golan Heights

    Concluding his speech, the UN representative called on the UNSC to take urgent measures against Israel, demand that it stop its “aggression” and force Tel Aviv to abide by resolutions 242, 338, and 497, stipulating the liberation of Arab territories from its “occupation,” including the Golan Heights, withdrawing to the pre-June 1967 line.

    On June 5, 1967, Israel attacked three of its Arab neighbors, having eliminated the Egyptian air force in a preemptive strike following months of mounting tensions. As a result of the war, which lasted six days, Israel seized several Arab territories, including the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and Golan Heights from Syria.

    Even though Tel Aviv returned Sinai to Egypt after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the country has continued its occupation of other territories for fifty years.

    READ MORE: Israel Closes Airspace Over Disputed Golan Heights Amid Syria Strikes – Reports

    Marking 50 years since the beginning of the 1967 war, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres denounced the five-decade-long Israeli occupation, and called for the creation of an independent Palestinian state as a way to end the conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, has refused to implement the UN resolutions, having repeatedly stated that Tel Aviv would not retreat to the 1967 lines because they were “indefensible,” and claimed that the Golan Heights would “remain in the hands of Israel forever.”

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    Tags:
    Israeli occupation, Golan Heights, Israel, Syria
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