TEHRAN (Iran News) – News of Israeli plans to double the number of settlers squatting on Syria’s occupied Golan Heights has been met with strong condemnation.
Damascus says the territory, which Israel annexed in 1981 having militarily capturing the area in 1967 is both “Dangerous” and “Unprecedented”
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced a multimillion-dollar plan to increase the number of settler units by nearly 7,300. There are already about 25 thousand Israeli settlers squatting in the occupied Golan. Nevertheless, Bennet, who is a staunch supporter of expanding Israeli settlements is going ahead with the expansionist project.
In a statement, the Syrian foreign ministry said “Syria strongly condemns the dangerous and unprecedented escalation from the Israeli occupation forces in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and its persistence in settlement policies and grave and methodological violations that rise to the level of war crimes.”
The statement adds that Damascus is committed to “resistance to the Israeli occupation and rejection of the decision to annex the Golan.” For now, the ministry says it will exhaust all the legally available routes to recapture the territory.
Speaking to Syrian media, foreign minister Faisal al-Mekdad called Israel’s actions against Syria “criminal” and says they violated the 1981 U.N. Resolution 497 declaring Israel’s effective annexation of the Golan as “null and void.”
The Arab League’s head says the Israeli plan amounted to a “flagrant violation” of international law, which recognizes the Golan Heights as Syrian territory. Aboul Gheit added the fact that a few countries recognize “Israeli sovereignty” over the Golan does not change the reality that it is an occupied territory.
The Gaza based Palestinian group Hamas also spoke out noting the “settlement projects expose once again the arrogant behavior of the occupation and its expansionist policy in the region, disregarding all international laws and resolutions.” Spokesman, Hazem Qassem says the Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Arab land “requires an escalation by the masses of our Arab and Islamic nation and all its forces to resist this Zionist project and to put an end to its arrogance in the region.”
Bennet says the time is ripe to expand Israeli occupation in the Golan as he believes Syria is pre-occupied with a decade long war. A war that has been inflicted on the Arab country by foreign sponsored terror organizations, chief among them Israel itself.
Before the Syrian army liberated areas around the Golan from terror groups, experts say the Israeli military would attack the Syrian army every time it made territorial advancements against the terrorists.
One thing appeared odd as the war on Syria entered its second and third and fourth years. A pattern emerged.
The terror groups affiliated with al-Qaeda for instance, like the al-Nusra Front, had occupied areas near the Golan. But they never attacked Israeli forces; and Israeli forces never attacked the terrorists.
Israeli forces used the Golan to attack the Syrian army but it did not use its [illegal] presence in the Golan to strike at terrorists who at one point surrounded the Golan. Even when a stray terrorist shell landed near Israel army positions, Israeli forces would respond by striking the Syrian army.
In other words, the numerous terrorist groups, who used barbaric acts of torture and executions against Syrian civilians, did not pose any threat to Israel and Israel posed absolutely no threat to the same barbaric terrorist groups who surrounded areas around the Israeli occupied Golan such as Quneitra province and south of Quneitra province.
Were Israeli forces in the Golan and the terrorist groups secretly working in tandem? Did Israel secretly fund and support these groups wreaking havoc in Syria.
Syria accuses Israel of this, as do other countries. But we don’t need to look too far.
What was the now former UK International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, secretly doing in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights in 2017? Stuart Polak aka Lord Polak, the face of the ruling Conservative party’s Israel lobby, the most powerful Israeli lobby groups in Westminster, arranged one-on-one meetings with Israeli officials.
Polak arranged for Patel (who nobody had heard of before) to secretly travel to the occupied Golan and inspect Israeli military field hospitals treating al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists like the Nusra Front and others terror groups fighting the Syrian army, which was closing in on them at the time.
What was Israel trying to gain from Patel who breached all British diplomatic protocols by making the visit secret. According to most analysts, to direct British aid money to the Israeli emergency field hospitals treating the terrorists and reports suggest these field hospitals were being overwhelmed at the time with militants.
What slipped some minds at the time was Britain law, which states that aid money cannot be spent in developed countries. The Israeli regime’s per capita GDP the year before the Petal’s visit was $33,000, which means it rules out direct UK expenditure.
Other British government rules stipulate that ministers should not travel to the occupied territories with Israeli assistance. Yet Patel took up the invitation to inspect the operations in the occupied Golan from the Israeli military.
Some experts and reports have hinted that other top government figures, including then Prime Minister, Theresa May, were fully aware of Patel’s visit to the occupied Golan, but did not want the trip to be made public, this would perhaps explain why Patel resigned and was not sacked.
News of the British government sending aid money to field hospitals operated by Israel and treating al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists would unleash unprecedented public outrage in Britain and around the world. In addition, the UK’s “official” position is that it does not recognize Israel’s occupation of the Golan. Furthermore, it would also confirm a direct link of collusion between the British government and terror groups in Syria.
As reports leaked that Patel, was not on “a family holiday” but privately meeting Israeli officials seeking British funds for the occupied Golan, she handed in her resignation letter after changing and twisting the narrative of the trip.
However, under the current government of Boris Johnson and with the help of the still powerful Israeli lobby, Patel has been given one of the highest-ranking jobs in the government, the post of Home Secretary.
Israel and the terrorists were not just cooperating, they had a common interest. Both were opposed to the Syrian army getting closer to the Israeli occupied Golan. The terrorists were afraid of losing more territory and Israel was afraid that the Syrian army may this time be coming back accompanied by Special Hezbollah Commandos.
Even if the administration of former President Donald Trump signed a proclamation recognizing “Israel’s sovereignty” over the Golan Heights, reversing more than a half-century of U.S. policy in the West Asia. The international community opposes the annexation and the occupation, even Washington’s closest allies.
According to the human rights organization al-Marsad, which is based in the occupied Golan, Israeli authorities have established at least 34 settlements there in violation of international law. the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights noted: “Syrian residents of the occupied Syrian Golan continued to face challenges due to discriminatory planning and zoning policies that favor illegal Israeli settlements. These policies make it nearly impossible for Syrian residents to build, plan or expand their homes and village infrastructure.”
This year, the United Nation Human Rights Council in Geneva voted in favor of several resolutions targeting Israel. Three resolutions came under were title “Israeli settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Occupied Syrian Golan.”
One way or the other, observers say the days of Israel capturing, occupying and annexing the land of other countries will soon end, even if means (as Syrian and Palestinian officials say) by force.
5 things you need to know about “annexation”
1. Is a flagrant violation of international law
2. Exacerbates decades of human rights violations
3. Entrenches institutionalized discrimination
4. Amounts to war crimes
5. legal obligations as an occupying entity