Russia Says Israeli Settlements in Syria's Golan Heights Threat to Regional Stability

Russia Says Israeli Settlements in Syria's Golan Heights Threat to Regional Stability

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations warned about Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights, saying that the regime's ambitions to expand its illegal settlements in the vital region undermine regional stability.

Speaking during a meeting of the UN Security Council, Vasily Nebenzya said: “Israel’s settlement plans in the occupied Syrian Golan threaten to undermine regional stability.”

In 1967, Israel waged a full-scale invasion of Arab territories, occupying a substantial portion of the Golan and annexed it four years later — a move that was never recognized by the international community.

Another battle broke out in 1973, and a year later, a UN-brokered truce took effect, under which the Tel Aviv regime and Damascus agreed to separate their soldiers and establish a buffer zone in the Heights. Israel, on the other hand, has erected dozens of illegal settlements in the Golan over the last several decades, despite international appeals for the state to cease its unlawful construction activities there.

In a unilateral move rejected by the international community in 2019, former US president Donald Trump signed a decree recognizing Israeli “sovereignty” over the Golan.

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

The United Nations has also time and again emphasized Syria’s sovereignty over the territory.

Earlier this year, Deputy Russian Ambassador to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy said Russia is concerned over Tel Aviv’s announced plans for expanding settlement activity in the occupied Golan Heights.

He said the move directly contradicts the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention.

“We stress Russia’s unchanging position, according to which we do not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights that are an inalienable part of Syria,” Polyanskiy said on February 23.

Last December, Israel announced that it intends to double the number of its illegal settlements in the Golan, despite an earlier resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly demanding the regime’s full withdrawal from the occupied territory.

Israeli-Russian relations have soured since the beginning of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. Observers had already predicted that the Russia-Ukraine crisis could put Israel in a difficult position, as the Tel Aviv regime has good relations with both Moscow and Kiev.

Earlier this month, the Israeli regime voted in favor of a United Nations General Assembly resolution suspending the Russian Federation’s membership in the UN Human Rights Council.

Reacting to the vote, the Russian foreign ministry called the resolution “unlawful and politically motivated.”

It also called the Israeli regime’s support for it “a thinly veiled attempt to take advantage of the situation around Ukraine in order to divert the attention of the international community from one of the oldest unresolved conflicts — the Palestinian-Israeli one.”

Top World stories
Top Stories