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Liberating Israeli-occupied Golan Heights national priority: Syria UN ambassador

This file photo shows Syrians holding an anti-occupation rally in Majdal Shams on the Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights. (By Reuters)

Syria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Bashar al-Ja’afari, has reiterated the Arab country’s right to liberate the Golan Heights from Israeli occupation, adding that restoring Syrian sovereignty to the territory remains a priority for the Damascus government. 

“The Israeli regime has occupied Arab lands, including the Syrian Golan Heights, for the past 35 years in a flagrant violation of the UN Charter and rules of the international law,” Ja’afari said at a UN Security Council session on the situation in the Middle East via video call.

The Syrian official slammed the Tel Aviv regime for its “systematic” violations of international law and human rights in the occupied territory, including restriction of the locals’ movements, demolition of houses and destruction of natural resources.

He noted that Washington’s support for the Tel Aviv regime and its settlement expansion policies have reached an unprecedented level, and were embodied in decisions by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel in December 2017 and endorse “Israeli sovereignty” over the Golan Heights in March 2019.

The Syrian diplomat then condemned Israel’s unilateral actions in the occupied lands, emphasizing that such measures are taken by a party devoid of any political or legal capacity to decide the fate of peoples.

Ja’afari also denounced an Israeli missile strike south of the Syrian capital Damascus on Monday night, stating that the attack was another desperate attempt to uplift the morale of the last pockets of Takfiri terrorist groups and a blatant violation of the 1974 Israel-Syria Disengagement Agreement, international law, the UN Charter as well as relevant Security Council resolutions.

The Syrian UN ambassador emphasized that the implementation of international resolutions is required to end the Israeli occupation of Arab territories, including the Golan Heights, restore stability to the Middle East region and enhance the UN’s credibility.

In 1967, Israel waged a full-scale war against Arab territories during which it occupied a large swathe of Syria’s Golan and annexed it four years later, a move never recognized by the international community.

Syria has repeatedly reaffirmed its sovereignty over the Golan Heights, saying the territory must be completely restored to its control.

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