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Israel must withdraw from Syria's Golan Heights: Non-Aligned Movement

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This undated picture shows Israeli forces walking past tanks near the border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. (Photo by Reuters)

The 120 member nations of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) say the Israeli regime needs to abide by UN resolutions and end its decades-long occupation of Syria's Golan Heights.

In a statement issued following its ministerial meeting on Friday, the organization censured the Tel Aviv regime for making demographic changes to the Syrian territory that it occupied some half a century ago, Syria's official news agency SANA reported. 

NAM said its members “condemn all measures taken by Israel to change the legal, physical and demographic status of the Occupied Syrian Golan, and demand once again that Israel should abide by the United Nations Security Council resolution 497 (1981), and … withdraw fully from the Occupied Syrian Golan to the borders of June 4, 1967, in the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).”

The movement underlined the need to “respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty …, political independence and inviolability of international borders of other states,” and to refrain from interfering in other countries’ internal affairs.

It also reiterated that “a just, lasting solution to the question of Palestine in all its aspects must remain its priority and also a permanent responsibility of the United Nations until it is satisfactorily resolved in all aspects in accordance with international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions.”

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international community.

In 1981, the year that Israel passed a law effectively annexing the territory, a United Nations Security Council resolution said that “the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect.”

However, in a highly provocative move on March 25 last year, US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation recognizing Israel's "sovereignty" over the Syrian territory.

Damascus strongly condemned the move and called it a "blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Syria.

Since the occupation, Tel Aviv has been building dozens of settlements in the region and has used it to carry out a number of military operations against the Arab country.

The UN has time and again stressed Syria’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Back in December 2018, the majority of the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution urging the Israeli regime to withdraw from Golan.

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