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Syria threatens Israel with war over Golan region

SYRIA threatened Israel with war over its continued occupation of the Golan region during a stormy United Nations meeting in New York on Friday.

Syrian UN permanent representative Dr Bashar al-Jaafari warned Israel must comply with international resolutions and hand back the occupied territory or face the consequences.

“We will reclaim Golan by peace or by war. This is our message to Israel and its ambassador,” he warned.

The United Nations has voted overwhelmingly in support of Syrian sovereignty over the occupied Golan region.

A draft resolution presented at the UN general assembly’s fourth committee in New York was supported by 151 states, with the US and Israel voting against and 14 abstentions.

Mr Jaafari said the vote sent a message to Israel that its occupation of the Golan Heights is unlawful, calling for it to pull out of occupied Arab lands and cease its violation of human rights and international law.

He said that the vote means that Israel’s attempts to annex the Golan area, including recent local elections administered by Tel Aviv, are “null and void without any legal effect.”

Large protests organised by the region’s Druze community disrupted the elections last month as they pledged their allegiance to Damascus.

The Golan Heights were stolen from Syria following the 1967 Six Day war, with Israel unilaterally annexing it in 1981 in a move not recognised internationally.

Mr Jaafari told those gathered that the US vote came as no surprise, accusing Washington of “stealing the Golan’s resources via American companies like Genie Energy, Afek and AES Corporation that conduct illegal oil exploration in Golan.”

He accused them of acting as an occupying force in Syria, alleging US troops are protecting Isis terrorists in the al-Tanf area along with Deir Ezzor.

Syria has long called for the US to leave its territory.

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