Syria strongly condemns Israel's plan to expand settlements in occupied Golan Heights
Syria has strongly condemned the controversial Israeli plan to double the settler population in the Golan Heights, warning against the "unprecedented and dangerous" uptick in the Tel Aviv regime’s land expropriation and settlement expansion activities in the strategic area.
The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in a statement released on Monday, said the occupied Golan is an integral part of Syrian territories under the international law, and that Damascus is determined to recover the area “through all available means”.
“The Syrian government reaffirms its complete and strong support for the entire Syrian nation, including local residents of the occupied Golan Heights who are steadfast in their resistance against the Israeli occupation and resoundingly reject the annexation of the Syrian territory as well as Israeli authorities’ land grab policies,” the statement noted.
The Syrian foreign ministry highlighted that the major Israeli plan is in contravention of international principles, namely the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and the UN Security Council Resolution 497 of 1981, which consider Israel’s decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan null and void with no legal effect.
Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria in the closing stages of its 1967 Six-Day War on Arab countries, which also saw the regime occupy the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip.
Syria has repeatedly reaffirmed its sovereignty over the Golan Heights, saying the territory must be completely restored to its control.
Almost 22,000 Syrian Druze live concentrated in four main Israeli-occupied villages of Majdal Shams, Buqata, Masada and Ein Qiniyye, and are facing numerous Israeli settlement projects, including building wind turbines on their farming lands.