The 35th Anniversary of The National Open Strike

 On  the 35th anniversary of the national Open Strike by the Syrian Arab Citizens under the yoke of the Israeli occupation in the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan on February 14th, 1982, our hero Syrians reiterated that the option of the Resistance against the occupation is the way for the liberation of the occupied Golan.

The steadfast Syrians in the Golan reiterated, three years back, definite and absolute rejection to the Israeli occupation and to its null, void, and illegitimate practices in the Golan Heights.

Our Syrian compatriots underlined the loyalty of the Golan to the Syrian People, Army, and Leadership in rejection to the present conspiracy and ongoing aggression against Syria, asserting the need to pursue national dialogue and fight against armed terrorist groups in Syria.

''encountering the Israeli enemy, we extend our hands to shake the hands of every honest Syrian and embrace him/her and appeal to them to stand against the criminal gangs and their sectarian schemes and rally behind the leadership of President Bashar Al-Assad,'' read the statement issued by our family members under the yoke of occupation.

Our compatriots underscored that Syria is the dearest and above all  and that the 14th of February would ever remain the symbol for rejection Israeli ID's and that the Golan is but Syrian and ever to remain Syrian Arab land and people.

According to International Committee of the Red Cross, Israel's occupation of the Golan severely restricts the ability of its Arab residents to go about their daily lives. In addition, many have relatives across the demarcation line in Syria that they have not seen for years.

Haniya Saleem Bader Eldeen Shams has lived in the occupied Golan since 1968 when she came to be married. Her son, Youseef Hussein Shams, explains that his mother's family live on the other side of the demarcation line.

"She used to be as healthy as a horse," he says, "but since 2003 she has suffered a heart attack and has been hospitalized three times. She is always in tears, sad and depressed."

 During a one week trip to Jordan in 2003 was the last time Haniya saw her family. On the last day of the visit, her older brother died of a heart attack but because his body was taken home  to Syria, Haniya was unable to attend the funeral. Her son says this experience broke her health.  Earlier, she had been able to spend one month with her family in Syria in 1990 as part of the ICRC's family visit programme but this was suspended by the Israeli authorities in 1992. Yousef spends around 50 dollars a week on a twenty-minute phone call that allows his mother to talk to her family. "It's expensive," he says "but after she fell sick, I do what I can to help her."  "When she came here, she left her family behind. She did not see them or their children as they grew up. She missed that sense of family. If the family visits were restored, it would compensate for some of those moments and heal some of the injuries."

  "It was a difficult decision to make when I decided to come here," says Najwa Fawaz Abu Shaqra – Amasha. "My family and my father were very sad. They tried to convince me not to come. I had to ignore them to find the strength to stick to my decision and not be overwhelmed by sadness."

 The 37 year old woman left her home in Damascus in 2004 to live with her new husband in the occupied Golan. They had met at University in Damascus where they were both studying. "At first the question of his return to the occupied Golan, was not an issue," she explains, "We saw each other for three years during our studies and we fell in love. My choice then was to leave him or leave my family. It took a year to get the authorization to come here," she adds." When the approval came, I had to seize the opportunity. If I had hesitated it would have been too late."  In addition to the problems of adjusting to a new community, she is not entitled to an Israeli identification card for the first three years of her residence. This means she cannot travel outside Israel and the occupied Golan, cannot study and cannot work. 

Her new husband found work as an English teacher in Beer Sheba, in central Israel and is only home on weekends. She has no family of her own in the occupied Golan, and without family visits across the demarcation line, she does not know when she will see them again. She says the most difficult moment was when she gave birth two years ago. "I wanted my mother," she says, "I was very sad, it was very difficult not to have her there."

"My father was using a megaphone to talk to us from the shouting hill and he became very emotional. He collapsed from a heart attack and died on the spot," explains Aida Kasim Amasha. "I applied immediately for a permit to go to his funeral, but it was refused. I wanted to touch my father one last time."

 The shouting hill is on the Syrian side of the ceasefire line in the Golan and overlooks the village of Majdal Shams on the Israeli occupied side. The families separated since the 1967 ceasefire use megaphones to communicate across the barbed wire that divides them. The old woman came from Damascus in 1980 to marry her husband in the occupied Golan. Although she studied mathematics, physics and chemistry in Syria before leaving she does not have a permit to work in Israel.  Last year her 83 year old mother died. "She had been sick for a long time and had undergone surgery. But I could not go to see her before she passed away." She says she is now so depressed that she stays indoors most of the time.  She has four brothers and two sisters in Syria but it is not possible to visit them. "Family weddings over there are very sad events for us," she adds," we cannot participate."  The difficulties of her life in the occupied Golan are not new to her. She lost her five year old daughter fifteen years ago. "All my family could do is offer condolences from the shouting hill."

 ''Family is a physical experience," says 93 year old Sheikh Hasan Yousef Basheer. "We need to touch one another, to feel the children climbing onto you." Although his daughters live with him in the village of Majdal Shams, the rest of his family are all on the Syrian side of the 1967 ceasefire line. "Extended family is so important," he says.

 He was able to take part in a family visit organized in 1979 and again in 1990 but the programme was suspended by the Israeli authorities in 1992. "It was like a big wedding," he says, "It was the first time I had seen all my family members since the 1967 war. Everyone was singing, everyone wanted to kiss me and I kissed them all. I was able to stay one month, it was a good time."  Since that last visit his two brothers have passed away, but he still has one brother, a sister, as well as nephews and nieces. He says he hopes to see them again, "as long as God is willing."

As an elder, he was able to cross into Syria last September as part of an annual religious pilgrimage facilitated by the ICRC. But he says the pilgrimage is too short, leaving them little more than one evening to visit family.  "When we haven't seen each other in so long, it is difficult to talk. At first there is nothing to say. We need the time to really sit together, to talk and re-establish contact, to reminisce about the old days." "The pilgrimage is too short to do that," he adds, "it just reopens the wound. When I come back I am depressed and sad." He has been married to his second wife since 1994, "but she has never met any of my family on the other side."  "It is not right," he concludes, "people are dying without the chance to see their relatives. We are all human beings; shouldn't we have the right to visit?"

 "In a dream I saw my mother's funeral," says Mohasna Sulieman Taweel Merij. "The next morning I learned she had passed way during the night. Her mother had been sick for some time, and she tried to find a way to visit her, but it was impossible. "On the phone my mother kept crying and begging for me to come, but I could not."

 Mohasna Sulieman Taweel Merij points to her family's village in Syria just the other side of the mountain. "She had sent a message the day before her death telling me to call, but our phone was not working. She stayed alive until one in the morning wondering why I didn’t call," says Mohasna. On hearing of her mother's death she tried to sneak across the demarcation line and walk the four kilometres to her family village. Her sons physically restrained her because of the danger of minefields. Mohasna moved from the village of Hadar in Syria proper to the occupied Golan to marry in 1973 at the age of 16. She has been back once in 1990 as part of the family visit programme. Her husband died of a heart attack just after that visit. She can still telephone her family in Syria, but because she is a widow, she says she can only afford a short call every two months. "We spend all the time crying on the phone and I listen to them begging me to come visit." Her worry now is whether she will be able to see one of her brothers who has been sick for the last three years. "We are roughly the same age and we were very close growing up," she explains, "I want to see him again, but I am afraid he will die first. I haven't been with him in 16 years. To see him again would be the most precious moment in my life." Mohasna has three sons and three daughters. One of her daughters lives in Austria and has come home to visit. Mohasna travelled to Austria for three weeks when her daughter gave birth. "It's easier to go to Austria than to my family's village behind that mountain over there," she points in the direction of Syria. "It would take me thirty minutes to walk there."

 

The Syrians in the occupied Golan Heights issued on December19,1981, their National Document in rejection of the Israeli illegal, and void decision to annex Golan.

 Our people in the occupied Golan Heights issued a  document stressing  their strong adherence  to their  Syrian identity. This document was  addressed to the United Nations and its institutions , the world public opinion and to  all the official and popular  establishments all over  the world.

 Undoubtedly, this document  expresses  the  real  stance of the Syrians in the occupied Golan and their rejection of  the Israeli occupation.  The Syrians in the occupied Golan have a  responsibility towards  the future generations and they are determined to resist the occupation till realizing liberation. The  document contains the following:

1– The occupied Golan Heights is an integral part of  the Syrian  Arab Republic .

2 – The Syrian Arab nationality  is  a real  and lasting characteristic which is  inherited to  us from  our parents. It is our responsibility  to give this inheritance  to our children .

 3 - Our territories  are  a sacred ownership to all our sons  of the  Syrian society. And every  Syrian citizen  tries to sell or give  up any inch of  our lands to the Israeli  occupier, is treated as  committing  a great crime and unforgivable national treason  against our society,.

4 – We do  not recognize  any decision issued  by  the Israeli occupier  to annex us to  the Zionist entity. Besides we  completely reject the Israeli government's decisions aiming at stealing   our Syrian Arab identity .

5 - We do not recognize  the legitimacy of the local  and sectarian  councils. For these  councils are appointed by the Israeli military government and they receive their  instructions from it.  And the members of these councils do not in any way  represent us.

6 – No one deserves to express Syrians' ambitions  except  those people  from all our social sectors , who reject the occupation through their  true national stances .

7 - Every citizen in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights who accepts  to replace his Syrian nationality with the  Israeli  one is considered a traitor.

8 - we decided an irreversible decision which  is :  we will dismiss all people who accept to be an Israeli citizen. And  every one  violating  the content of this document will be expelled from our religion and Syrian society . Besides, he will be deprived  of  dealing with the other people, and no one would  share him  his  joys and  sadness until he  confesses his guilt. Then he must ask  permission from the society , so as to restore his real nationality .

9 - We have adopted this document depending on our authentic  spiritual,  national and humanitarian  heritage which  encourages us to offer our  deep sincerity  to  our homeland, Syria.

 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim/ Maysa Wassouf

 

 

 

 

Golan Annexation: Null and Void!

 So far 35 years have passed since the Israeli illegitimate annexation of the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan Heights, the sacred land of our ancestors and grandfathers. Not a single day would pass without nostalgia and eagerness to this piece of our souls, bitter tears of our family members, and sighs of dear memories and attachment to the stories of the land, which has ever been living in us. Our elders passed away; but we still remember and are eager more than ever to return home. The Golan is part and parcel of our humanity, feelings, identity, history, resistance, tears  and laughter. I still remember the tears shed by my late father upon embracing and kissing the soil of Quneitra in 1974, the lively most beautiful face ever of my late mother in June 1967, when she fed me some of dry wheat grains after chewing them in fear and in a hurry; they are still the most delicious food I have ever eaten! 

On 14 December 1981, the Israeli Knesset ratified the decision taken by Rabin’s extremist government to annex the Golan Occupied to the Israeli territory. Begin stood on the eve of 1 December 1981 to impudently announce that "The Occupied Golan were in the past a part of the Palestine Territory and that those who established the borders of the States in the Region during the First World War drew arbitrary borders with Syria. Such situation is rectified as of now on, and only those who are unrealistically optimistic believe that Israel will withdraw from the Golan".

It is odd that Begin did not have any kind of connection with Palestine during the First World War other than the Zionist Schemes to usurp it. Throughout and after the Second World War, Begin and the other Zionist terrorists perpetrated many massacres to expel Palestinians from their Homeland. Then he was defending the re-establishment of Palestine’s borders which he had usurped together with its adjacent territories in order to devour more land and expel more Arabs from the Golan, West bank and Gaza Strip. He was very much like the burglar who steals a house and then claims that the next house was once a part of the house he had stolen and seized by force.

The following is the text of the Annexation Decision:

• The Israeli State Law, its jurisdiction and administration shall be applied to the Occupied Golan.

• This Law shall be implemented immediately upon being ratified by the Knesset.

• The Interior Minister is required to implement this Law.

SYRIAN ARAB ATTITUDE AGAINST THE DECISION

Hereunder is the text of the Syrian Arab Statement of 14 December 1981:

Within the framework of the Zionist Enemy aggressive expansionist policy, starting with judaization operations, settlements building, displacing and oppressing, Arab inhabitants the Israeli Enemy Government has taken a decision imposing the Israeli laws in the occupied Syrian Arab territories.

The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, while drawing the attention of the Arab public opinion and the world community to the risk of such procedure and its negative reflections on security and peace in the region and all over the world, would indicate the following:

1. Syria reserves its right to take the appropriate measures against this flagrant infringement of the UN Charter and Resolutions, including Resolution N° 338.

1. Such Israeli decision implies the annexation of the occupied Syrian territories, waging war against Syria and cancellation the cease fire agreement.

1. Such Israeli decision asserts the aggressive and expansionist policy of the offensive Israeli entity and reveals the kind of peace it wants.

The Syrian Government’s political statement on 16 December 1981 included the following:

It is on the Fourteenth Day of this Month that the Israeli Enemy has taken a decision to impose the Israeli laws on the occupied Syrian Arab territories within the framework of its expansionist policy which aims to establish the ‘Great Israel" from the Nile to the Euphrates. Such decision has been taken, following a series of procedures and resolutions taken within the rest of the occupied Arab territories, building of settlements, oppressing and constricting Arab inhabitants to displace them and judaize the occupied regions, right up to declaring Jerusalem as a unified capital of the Hebrew State and applying the civil administration as comprehended for Palestinians autonomy in implementation of the two Camp David Accords. In the light of such events, the Leadership has discussed this question within the framework of our comprehensive vision of the Arab-Israeli struggle and all the surrounding circumstances, and resolved how to confront this national question. In the light of the President’s directives, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has:

1. Called for an urgent meeting of the Security Council in order to discuss the perilous situation and to take a resolution to delete the Israeli decision, apply the UN charter and penalize the Israeli Enemy.

2. Contacted all the Security Council members to explain the results and potential problems of the risky situation and requested them all to assume their responsibilities in the field of world peace keeping in accordance with the Charter.

3. Contacted all world states in order to explain such situation and how perilous it is, requested their support and backing. Messages have been addressed to the Non-Alliance Movement, Islamic Conference and African Unity Organization.

4. Has contacted Arab States via their Ambassadors in Damascus and the Secretary General of the Arab League.

Communications with sister Arab Countries will be continued in order to unify the Arab stand, and in order to confront such perilous development. The Government and Leadership are both following with great concern these developments.

The Zionist Enemy government of decision to annex the occupied Syrian Golan to Israel was confronted by all the citizens with complete rejection and denunciation. Inhabitants of the occupied villages, backed by the Arab citizens of the occupied West Bank, attacked the Israeli military vehicles, decried the Israeli expansionist policy. Syrian Arab national personalities of Majdal Shams and Mas’adeh denounced Israel’s expansionist policy; Sheik Soulayman Abou Saleh said in Majdal Shams, his alert village, "We are and will be, for ever, Syrian Citizens; a few decisions enacted by the Israeli Knesset won’t change our belonging to Syria, our mother Homeland". All citizens responded to the comprehensive strike call on 16 December 1981 to protest against the decision of the Golan annexation; schools from all villages went on strike; teachers, pupils and students refrained from attending their schools despite the Israeli Enemy’s threats. Public struggle is still on to this every day.

The Israeli heinous decision to annex the occupied Syrian Golan was also confronted with comprehensive Arab censure and condemnation on all public and political levels. Statements issued by the Arab States asserted that such new aggressive act against Arab Nation was a violation of the international law and revealed the Israeli expansionist schemes. The statements confirmed that all Arab, people and governments are to back Syria in order to restore its right to its national Territory.

For its part, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution N° 497 early on 19 December 1981:

"The Security Council has reviewed the Syrian Arab Republic’s Permanent Representative’s message dated 11 December 1981, and, while reiterating that acquisition of territories by force is rejected as stipulated under the UN Charter, principles of International Law and its express Resolutions, IT:

• Decides that the decision, taken by Israel, to impose its laws, legislations, administrative regulations on the occupied Golan is null and void, and of no legal effect on the international level.

• Requests Israel, the occupying Country, to immediately cancel, without any further delay, its decision.

• Declares that all provisions of Geneva Treaty, of 12 August 1949 relative to protecting civilians during war times, are still applicable on the Syrian Territory occupied by Israel in June 1967.

• Calls upon the Secretary General to report the implementation of this Resolution to the Security Council within two weeks from today. The Councils decides that, in case of Israeli negligence, it will hold an extraordinary meeting maximum not later than January 5th, 1982 to consider taking the appropriate procedures."

Many Arab Countries submitted to the Security Council a draft resolution which condemned Israeli decision of annexation, but the USA vetoed the decision after absolute majority of nine votes ( USSR, Spain, Guyana, Togo, Poland, Jordan, China, Za’eer and Uganda ), against the USA vote, and five (Britain, France, Ireland, Japan and Panama ) abstained. Thus, the USA asserted its attitude which opposed the Arabs and encouraged Israel to exercise more aggressiveness and further operations to newly annex occupied Arab territories. Abstention was allegedly attributed to a lack of provisions for negotiations and mentioning of Resolutions 242 and 338. The attitudes of the 5 abstaining members were unfair not only because the Golan annexation in a flagrant breach of international law, but also because of its inadequacy to confront Israel acts of continued aggression. The American veto used in the Security Council, to go by the international will to punish Israel, had actually protected it against the Security Council Resolution and roused broad Arab and international condemns and denouncement against the Israeli aggression and American protection of Israel.

The text of the UN Resolution:

The UN:

• Strictly condemns Israel for non-abiding by the Security Council Resolution N° 497 of 1981 and by the UN Resolution N° 226.

• Declares that Israel’s decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Occupied Golan constitutes an aggressive action as provided under stipulations of UN Charter’s Article 39 and UN Resolution N° 3314.

• Declares, once more, that Israel’s decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Occupied Golan is null and void, legally invalid and completely has no effect.

• Insists that all actions that Israel has taken to validate its decision of annexing the occupied Syrian Occupied Golan are illegal, null and must not be recognized.

• Reiterates that all provision of the Hague Agreement of 1907 and Geneva Agreement signed on 12 August 1949 for protection of civilians during the war times are still applicable on the Syrian territory which Israel occupied in June 1967. It calls upon all sides to respect and secure commitment to their obligations according to such Agreements under all circumstances.

• Insist that the continuous occupation of the Syrian Occupied Golan seized by Israel in June 1967 and continuity of their annexation by Israel since 14 December 1981 after its decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on such territory constitute a continuous threat to international peace and security.

• Strictly denounces the negative veto of the American Security Council permanent member which prevented the Council from taking suitable procedures, referred to in the Security Council Resolution N° 497 of 1981 unanimously adopted against Israel, as provided for under the Charter’s Chapter 7.

• Further condemns any political, economical and technological support to Israel which would encourage it to commit more aggression, enforce and prolong its occupation time, and annexation, of the occupied Arab territories.

• Firmly reiterates its request that Israel, the occupying force, should immediately cancel its decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Syrian Occupied Golan which has resulted from the actual annexation of such Territory.

• Reiterates the utmost necessity of an Israeli comprehensive unconditional withdrawal from all other Arab and Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, which is a basic condition for establishing a comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East.

• Declares that Israel’s record and actions confirm that it is not a UN peace-wanting Member, for it does not carry out its obligations neither under the Charter nor under the General Assembly Resolution N° 373 dated 31 May 1949.

• Calls upon all State Members to apply the following procedures:

A. To abstain from providing Israel with any weapon or equipment, and to stop sending military aid.

B To abstain from owning any military weapons or equipment from Israel.

C. To stop all economical, financial and technological aids to Israel and cooperation with it.

D. To break diplomatic, commercial and cultural relations with Israel.

• To immediately stop all their individual and collective links with Israel in order to completely seclude it in all fields.

• Urges the State which are not UN Members to honor this Resolution.

• Calls upon all specialized UN Agencies and International Entities to have their relations with Israel conformed to this Resolution.

• Requests the Secretary General to implement of this Resolution and report accordingly to the State Members and Security Council within two months, and to report to the General Assembly 37th Session which will be held under the title "Situation in the Middle East".

Syria is but to restore the Golan to the Motherland, and as the Late President Hafez Al-Assad declared, in an interview with the British ''Observer'' on March 2, 1982, : "Our battle with Israel, as it has been commonly known to everyone now, is a long one. The Golan occupation, annexation or liberation is but a step in the long battle. We don’t doubt for a moment that we will regain our rights, regardless of how long it takes, because aggression everywhere in the world is destined to retreat and fail. We are rightful in our position, and we have been attacked. We have prove and moral potentials which , if well used and managed by us, will enable us in the long run to fully regain our rights." The Syrians, according to H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad's July 17th, 2000 inauguration speech, would like to achieve peace because it is our strategic choice and because the Syrian people have always been, through history, peace lovers and because we would love to restore our beloved Golan complete and because we want its people to go back to their homes, but we are not ready to give up an inch of our territory nor to achieve peace at the expense of our national sovereignty. Our brave people on the Golan will always be today and tomorrow and forever Arab Syrians because no matter how long it might take this land will always be ours and will be returned complete to us one day sooner or later. We are not prepared to pay the price of the helplessness of the Israeli governments and their inability to make decisions that push the peace process forward at the expense of our sovereignty and dignity."

 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

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New UN Resolution Demanding that Zionist Occupation Rescind its Golan Annexation Decision

 

New UN Resolution Demanding that Zionist Occupation Rescind its Golan Annexation Decision

NEW YORK – The UN General Assembly (UNGA) reiterated demand that Israel comply with the Security Council resolutions, particularly resolution no. 497 for 1981 which declared Israel’s decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws and jurisdiction on the Syrian Golan as “null and void and without international legal effect”, according to SANA.

During a session on Tuesday, the UNGA adopted a resolution titled “Occupied Syrian Golan” after it was endorsed by the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (the Fourth Committee).

UN General Assembly Adopts Resolution Demanding Zionist Occupation to Withdraw from Syrian Golan

NEW YORK– The UN General Assembly, once again, adopted a resolution demanding the Israeli occupation to withdraw from the whole occupied Syrian Golan to the line of June 4th, 1967 in accordance with UN Security Council relevant resolutions, SANA reported.

In a resolution titled the Syrian Golan which was proposed under the item the state in the Middle East, the UNGA condemned Israel’s non-obedience till now to the Security Council resolution No. 497 for 1981, stressing that Israel’s decision issued on December 14th, 1981 to impose its laws, administration and custody on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void which has no legality at all.

UN Peacekeepers Return to Syrian Golan Heights: UN

UNITED NATIONS, (ST)-The United Nations has announced that a group of peacekeepers from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force UNDOF has returned to the Syrian Golan Heights.

On September 15, 2014, the United Nations withdrew a number of UNDOF peacekeepers working in the Syrian Golan Heights from several sites after terrorists of “Jabhat al-Nusra” had kidnapped more than 40 Fiji UN peacekeepers and besieged other Philippine personnel.