Syria condemns ‘unprecedented escalation’ by Israel — Analysis

Damascus has pushed back against the Israeli government’s plan to expand Golan Heights settlements

The Syrian government has sharply denounced an Israeli plan to double the population of Jewish settlers in the occupied Golan Heights – captured from Damascus in 1967 – arguing the move is fomenting tensions.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry issued a statement Monday denying the most recent Jewish settlement expansion plan. It claimed that it was a violation international law.

“The government of the Syrian Arab Republic strongly condemns the unprecedented dangerous escalation by the Israeli occupation authorities in the occupied Syrian Golan and their persistence in settlement practices and massive and systematic violations that amount to war crimes,”The ministry accused Tel Aviv “confiscation of land and property”The “theft of natural resources”The occupied territory

Over the weekend the Israeli government approved the settlement plan worth $317 million. It aims to increase the number of Golan Heights settlers by investing in housing and infrastructure over five years. Officials expect to bring around 23,000 settlers to the region, Israel’s occupied territory since 1967’s Six Day War. It also captured Gaza and the West Bank during that war. 

In an interview with local media on Monday, Syria’s Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad insisted on his country’s right to the “entire occupied Golan,”They argued that Syria’s sovereignty was there “is not subject to negotiation or concession.”

“All the measures taken by ‘Israel’ – the occupying power – to change [the Golan Heights’] natural and demographic features or impose its jurisdiction over it are null and void,”The FM stated that Israel does not have any authority in international law. He cited a 1981 United Nations Security Council Resolution calling on Tel Aviv, which called for Tel Aviv’s withdrawal from its claims to the territory.

Syria’s ruling Baath Party also harshly denounced the settlement plan on Monday, saying Israel’s “quest to double the number of settlers”In the Golan, there was an a “massive aggression against Syria”You can also find out more about a “blatant violation”International law.

Tel Aviv has, on the other hand, long maintained its claims to the territory. This claim was first recognized in 2019 by President Donald Trump. Although the Joe Biden Administration has not been as supportive of Israel in recent years, the President has indicated that he won’t change US policy regarding Golan and will still formally acknowledge the Israeli claim.

READ MORE: Syrian air defenses respond to ‘Israeli aggression’ – state media

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