Syria warns Israel over occupation of Golan


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

Syria warns Israel over occupation of Golan

Syria has warned Israel that the occupation of the Golan Heights "cannot last 
forever" and said Syrians would emulate Hezbollah to recover their land.

"We say to the forces occupying our land that our people warn you that they will
not allow our land to be occupied forever," the government's daily Ath-Thawra 
said Wednesday.

"You must understand that our people will fight the way the Lebanese resistance 
(Hezbollah) fought you," it added.

"Our people will fight you ... on every inch of the Golan," it said.

However, the newspaper urged decision-makers in Israel "to open up to new 
perspectives", noting that some in the Jewish state were in favour of making 
peace with Syria.

"The leaders of this expansionist entity have a choice: either they heed the 
voice of reason that prohibits them from violating other people's rights or they
will face action similar to that carried out by the Lebanese resistance."

Syria has repeatedly demanded the return of the Golan Heights which Israel 
conquered in the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed in 1981.

Peace negotiations between the two neighbours broke off in January 2000 amid 
disagreement over the strategic heights, which overlooks Israel's northern 
Galilee region and command approaches to the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave a hard-hitting speech to the Syrian 
parliament on Tuesday describing Israel as the "enemy" and stressing that he did
not expect peace any time soon with his arch-rival.

"Peace would involve Israel returning occupied lands to their owners and 
restoring their rights," Assad said. "Israel is an enemy founded on the basis of
aggression and hegemony."

Copyright © 2006 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.
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