WaPo | Netanyahu vows that Israel will never give up Golan Heights

via The Washington Post:


Israel - map - Golan Heights (200x200)Netanyahu vows that Israel will never give up Golan Heights

by William Booth | April 17, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to the occupied Golan Heights on Sunday to declare that Israel will retain full control of the mountainous plateau forever and will never return the strategic highlands to neighboring Syria.

As talks on the future of Syria are underway in Geneva, Netanyahu convened a symbolic meeting of his cabinet on a mountaintop in the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War.

In a lead-up to the Geneva talks, representatives of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad signaled that they wanted the discussions to include a possible return of the region.

Netanyahu was having none of it.

“The time has come after 40 years for the international community to finally recognize that the Golan Heights will remain forever under Israeli sovereignty,” he said.

Whatever the outcome of the peace talks, he added, “the border will not change.”

Israel essentially annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 when it extended Israeli civil law — versus military rule — to the territory.

The international community, including the United States, has never recognized Israel’s annexation of the heights and views the plateau as Syrian territory occupied by Israel.

Netanyahu said he spoke with U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Saturday and asserted that the Golan Heights, as far as Israel is concerned, was not a bargaining chip in the Syria talks. (Read More)


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