Thursday Feb 21, 201303:51 PM GMT
Israel awards US oil firm license to drill in Golan Heights
The file photo shows an Israeli tank on Syria’s illegally annexed Golan Heights.
The file photo shows an Israeli tank on Syria’s illegally annexed Golan Heights.
Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:49PM
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The Israeli regime has awarded a US energy company a license to drill for oil on Syria’s occupied Golan Heights.

Industry sources said on Thursday that Genie Energy won the license following reports last year that Tel Aviv had decided to allow oil and gas exploration on Golan Heights.

The New Jersey-based company has yet to obtain further work permits before it can launch the drilling operation.

Israel occupied and annexed the Golan Heights in 1967, in a move not recognized by the United Nations and the international community.

Israelis have been settling extensively in the highly strategic plateau, which is also the site of a major Israeli wind turbine project.

The Golan's status has been one of the core issues in the Israeli-Syrian row, with Damascus demanding full return of territory.

Israel's reach for the energy resources in the region comes amid a prolonged deadly unrest which has been plaguing Syria since March 2011.

The violence is fueled by foreign-backed militants who have been condemned by several international human rights organizations for committing war crimes.

Damascus says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants fighting the Syrian government are foreign nationals.

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