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Syrian UN ambassador: Our right to retake Israeli-occupied Golan Heights is inalienable, non-negotiable

Syria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bassam Sabbagh

Syria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bassam Sabbagh has said that Damascus reserves the right to re-establish control over the Golan Heights, which the Israeli regime has been occupying for more than half a century, stating that the entitlement to regain the area is inalienable and non-negotiable.

“Our right to restore the occupied Syrian Golan along the Line of June 4, 1967, is firm, non-negotiable, and incontrovertible. It is guaranteed by all UN relevant resolutions, particularly United Nations Security Council resolution 497,” Sabbagh said during a UN Security Council session about the situation in the Middle East.

The United Nations Security Council resolution 497, adopted unanimously on 17 December 1981, declares that the Israeli annexation of the occupied Golan Heights is “null and void and without international legal effect” and further calls on the Tel Aviv regime to rescind its action.

“Israeli occupation forces repeatedly launch brazen attacks on Syria in order to undermine government forces’ ability in the fight against terrorist groups… Lately, the Israeli regime deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure, including ports and airports, putting the lives of ordinary people in danger,” Sabbagh added.

The top Syrian diplomat also emphasized that Israel’s continued occupation of Arab lands, and its arbitrary practices in the occupied Palestinian territories and Golan Heights amount to grave violations of international law.

Sabbagh also called on the Security Council to break its silence, and take immediate action aimed at stopping the recurrent Israeli attacks on Syria.

Israel carried out an airstrike in the suburbs of the Syrian capital Damascus on Thursday, damaging property.

According to a Syrian military source, the barrage of rockets was fired from the direction of the occupied Palestinian territories at about 00:30 a.m. local time.

The source told Syria’s official news agency SANA that “the army air defenses intercepted the missiles and downed most of them.”

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international community. The regime has built dozens of settlements in the area ever since and has used the region to carry out a number of military operations against the Syrian government.

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