Golan Annexation!

 

 

 

So far 31 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 every one 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 for ever 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

 

 

 

Israeli Sinister Schemes in the Occupied Golan

The Israeli occupation forces, unfortunately, exploited some  disappointing Arab , regional, and international  conditions, in order to take the void and null decision to annex the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

On the Arab level, the disagreement on Arab policy, the involvement of Iraq in its futile war with Iran, the support of the Arab Gulf states given to this war, and Egypt 's absence from the Arab front were among the main factors  that enabled Israel to carry out its annexation  decision.

On the international level,  the strategic cooperation agreement between Israel and the USA, the hesitant European policy and the weakness of the United Nations  enabled Israel to act obstinately and arrogantly , in disregard for  all international laws and conventions.

On 14/12/1981, the Israeli government led by Menahem Begin announced the annexation of the occupied Syrian Golan heights and the Israeli Parliament " Knesset"  approved  a draft resolution to this effect  at a majority of 63 votes against 24.

The  world community at large denounced such a null decision. Almost all countries, including  those who are allied with Israel, denounced the Israeli decision and denounced  its challenge  of the whole international community. All the socialist countries as well as the West European countries: France, Britain, Spain, Holland, West  Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Cyprus, Greece  and Austria  and the then European Economic community, the Italian labor Union and parties of the ruling coalition in West Germany, including the social Democratic Party and the Democratic Liberal party condemned the Israeli decision .

 The  Israeli decision  was also denounced by Iran, India, Japan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Afghanistan, South and North Koreas in Asia, the Niger, the Senegal, Mali, Nigeria and the Cameroon in Africa  and Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Canada  and Chile in America, in addition  to a number of prominent non Zionist Jewish figures  and organizations in the  United States and Australia.

International organizations also participated  in expressing dissatisfaction  anger, and criticism regarding  the annexation decision and they considered it  as the most hostile decision  issued by one country against another , after the Second World War.

Kurt Waldheim, former secretary general of the Un expressed his strong anxiety over the Israeli decision.

The decision was also categorically rejected by  Afro-Asian Solidarity Organization, the World 's Journalists Union, the International Union of Students , the World Peace Council, the peace Council in the GDR, the Soviet Committee of Defense of peace and the Hungarian peace council.

Four days after Israel 's announcement of its decision  on 18/1/ 1981, the UN Security Council held a meeting  and called  on the Israeli entity to rescind its decision to annex the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The UN Security Council decided  on Tuesday 5/1/ 1985 to hold unofficial consultations with its members and then adopted a resolution, calling for ceasing  arm supplies to Israel, severing  commercial and diplomatic relations with Israel. But, as was expected, the USA vetoed  the draft resolution, which had won an absolute majority- which was nine votes against one, and five abstentions . Thus, the USA again stressed its hostile attitude towards Arabs and revealed that it encourages the usurpation of the land of others by force.

Immediately, after announcing its decision  of annexing the Golan, it tried again to impose Israeli identity cards  on  Syrian Arab citizens.

Therefore, a meeting was held by our people in the village of Majdal Shams, which is one of the Golan 's most important villages. The meeting was also attended by the Golan 's sheikhs and men of religion who called for a three-day general strike in all the villages of the Golan, in protest against the imposition of the Israeli identity cards  on Arab citizens and to stress the Arab identity of the Golan 's citizens , as well as their loyalty to and belonging to their motherland, the Syrian Arab Republic.

All the people of the Golan, without exception, had favorably responded to that call. But as a reaction to the Israeli Government 's obstinacy  and refusal to comply  with  UN resolutions and international principles which  prohibit the making of   changes in the  status of occupied territories by force. The meeting  held in Majdal Shams had decided to continue  to categorically reject  Israeli identity cards. An inevitable requirement of justice for the Arab rights which are supported  by the international law, the Syrian Arab Republic, which, before and after the American veto, had drawn the attention of all Arab and the World public opinion to the dangers attendant on the Israeli stand regarding peace and security to this part of the world. Syria had announced that it reserved its right to take appropriate  measures against this flagrant violation of  the UN Charter and resolutions, including  the UN security council resolution no. 338 and it considers the Israeli decisions of annexing the Golan as a declaration of war against Syria, as a cancellation of the cease-fire  and of the disengagement agreement.

Indeed, as the late President Hafez Al-Assad underscored  in one  of his speeches which followed the Israeli decision of annexing  the Syrian Golan  and the American veto    in the Security Council , ''the Golan was not occupied  by a law enacted by Israel, and its liberation will not be decided by the existence of such a law." The Israeli occupied  Golan is but the Syrian Arab land, which is definitely to be restored to the bosom of the motherland.

 

Tomader Fateh

The Occupied Golan heights in the Words of President Bashar Al-Assad

"Anyone who thinks that Syria may negotiate on its occupied land, he/she is mistaken because liberating the Golan is a right that resides in the hearts of the Syrians as people, army and leadership.''

From H.E.'s Army Day Word, (August 1, 2010)

''The Resistance against occupation is but the national duty; and the support for the Resistance is the legitimate and moral duty. Supporting the Resistance is but the honour in which we take pride. This never negates our firm desire for the realization of the Just and Comprehensive Peace on the basis of the return of the occupied territories, on top of which comes the occupied Syrian Golan. But the failure of negotiations in restoring the full rights means automatically the Resistance solutions as an alternative solution,''

From His Excellency's Speech at COMCEC Istanbul Summit, (November 9, 2009)

 

"The Syrian Arab Golan is to ever remain Arab in the hand, face, and tongue; Syrian in air, water, Land, and Man, and is to fully return to the bosom of the Motherland.”

  From His Excellency's  speech on the 64th Anniversary of the Syrian Arab Army Foundation Day, (August 1, 2009)

 

“I have explained to President Aliyev the theme of stability in the Middle East, which passes through the process of peace, which has passed through different experiences, but remained moving from failure to another, since its start in 1991, due to the Israeli intransigency and rejection to abide by the International Legitimacy Resolutions , which affirm the return of all the rights, on top of which the Occupied Territories to their owners, and, for us in Syria, of course, on top of which is the Occupied Golan.”

From His Excellency’s Azerbaijan visit Press Statements, (July 8, 2009)

 

“We have discussed the process of peace in the Middle East; viewpoints were identical regarding the necessity for the realization of the just and comprehensive peace, based on the international legitimacy resolutions, which stipulate the inadmissibility of the continued Israeli occupation of the Arab Territories, on top of which is the occupied Syrian Golan.”

 From His Excellency’s Press Statements during President Papoulias of Greece  Visit, (June 24, 2009)

 

“Syria is committed to the peace as much as it is committed to the occupied Syrian Territories, the Golan,”

From His Excellency’s Statements during Turkish President Visit, (May 15, 2009)

 

“Our commitment to the Golan is closely linked to our stance by the full return of the Palestinian rights and territories, including Jerusalem and the return of the refugees to their homeland.”

From His Excellency’s Statements during Turkish President Visit, (May 15, 2009)

 

“The Golan Heights is our land, our right, and must return by all accounts,”

From His Excellency’s Statements during Austria visit, (April 27, 2009)

 

“First of all, we do not relate, as I said, our policy to what is happening in Israel. So, we do not pin any hopes on this government. But if any government says they are ready to give back the Golan Heights, that is good and we can move forward. We do not have hope but there is nothing that is a hundred percent accurate in politics. You may have surprises and if you have a surprise it is good but sometimes we do not see this surprise.”

From His Excellency’s Interview with the Austrian Der Standard, (April, 18, 2009)

 

“We do not have conditions. It is our land and there is a difference between conditions and rights. We have rights; we do not have conditions. Golan is not a condition; it is a right. So, we should be very precise because when they say they are ready to resume the negotiations only without pre-conditions, they mean the land. Whereas, the land is not a condition; it is a right. The only condition is to be committed to the international conditions. The international conditions are Security Council Resolutions; these are international conditions, not Syrian conditions.”

From His Excellency’s Interview with the Austrian Der Standard, (April, 18, 2009)

 

“So, it was about probing and this was based on the issue of the Golan Heights, the line of 1967. We gave the Turks a map on which there are a few points on that line and the Israelis were supposed to agree upon those points. Of course, as we heard from Prime Minister Erdoğan, Olmert was ready to give back the whole Golan Heights and this means there should be no problem in those points.”

 From His Excellency’s Interview with the Austrian Der Standard, (April, 18, 2009)

 

“We are a state with a structure of Army and Economy, and where every thing is meant for the liberation. The day will definitely come when the Golan would be liberated, whether through peace or war,”

From His Excellency the Qatari Al-Sharq Daily Interview, (April 1, 2009)

 

“The course of events during the latest few years has proved that the realization of peace is the vital interest for all. The basics for the process of peace are quite clear; that is the return of the Land on the bases of Madrid Terms of Reference, the principle of the Land for the Peace, Resolution 242, and the return of the Golan: the full return of the Land is the Principle not to be discussed.”

From His Excellency Al-Khaleej Newspaper Interview, (March 9, 2009)

 

“We do not recognize Israel and Israel is still our enemy -- it occupies part of our country, the Golan Heights. If the Israelis withdraw from Golan, we will recognize them. First comes peace, then recognition -- not the other way around.”

From His Excellency Der Spiegel Interview, (January 19, 2009)

 

''Will the new prime minister be in favor of negotiations on the basis that we have previously agreed on and which stipulate the full return of the Golan Heights, or will there be new conditions for these negotiations? When a new premier is elected we will see.”

 From His Excellency Monday Morning Interview, (September 30, 2008)

 

“The return of the occupied Golan Heights remains the question of top priority for Syria.”

 From His Excellency Interview with the Russian Itar Tass  (August 20-21, 2008)

 

“First of all, as you said, Syrian land is occupied by Israel so they have to give us back our land. We don't have something to give but we have something to achieve together, which is peace. It is not something we have. So, if both sides achieve a certain treaty, including giving back the Golan Heights, this means achieving peace.

From His Excellency Indian Daily, the Hindu Interview (June 12th, 2008)

 

“Erdogan- the Turkish Premier has informed me of the Israeli willingness to withdraw from the Golan in return for peace with Syria.”

 From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

 

“Olmert would present to the Turkish mediator: Erdogan- the Turkish Premier that he was prepared to return the Golan. If Olmert was not prepared to return the Golan, there is no need to talk about this topic.”

From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

 

“The peace is never to be realized but with the return of the Golan in full to the line of June 4 1967. The Israeli procrastination would never bring them better conditions and would never make us surrender a span of our land nor a right. Whatever  concessions they have failed to take from Syria in the past would never get in a later stage. Betting on the factor of time as to negate the rights through the passage of time or by oblivion , as proved, is futile; hence the time has given birth to generations more committed to the Land and resistance.”

 From His Excellency Opening  Speech of  20th Arab Summit  (March29th 2008)

 

“The most of the dangers facing the region is perhaps the absence of will by some parties for the peace which would lead into the realization of stability and prosperity. The resolutions of the international legitimacy and the principle of the land for the peace can only lead to the aspired peace as a de facto guaranteeing the return of the Syrian Arab Golan in full to the lines of June 4 1967.”

From H. E. Press Statements in Turkey  ( October 17, 2007)

 

 "we are not certain of the conference seriousness; this seriousness is linked to the conference Terms of Reference: the basics upon which to be based; whether upon the mood of those who called for the conference! Or to be based upon certain basics like the resolutions of the International Legitimacy: on top of which are 242 and 338 Resolutions and other resolutions. Syria always speaks of the just and comprehensive peace: the comprehensive peace which includes all tracks. This conference is to deal with the Palestinian track; this is good and we will be happy that there is a conference for the Palestinians; but what is our role? We were to go when the objective and the basic is to be the just and comprehensive peace; that is to include the cause of the Golan. We can not only talk about the Palestinian track. The Syrian track is a basic one; and the cause of the Golan is second to none. This Cause is not presented. There is another thing related to seriousness: Were the concerned countries of the Arab Israeli conflict consulted? However, we have not yet received an invitation to attend the said conference; if we were to receive an invitation, these are the conditions of Syria as to attend the international conference."

From H. E. ’s Al Shirouq Daily Interview  ( October 11, 2007)

 

“The strife that has been going on for six decades now in the region is not about personal matters to admire or respect me. It is about rights; we have our land – the Golan Heights – which is occupied and it has to go back. This is the only way to achieve peace and it is not by label or mantra or by just saying that they want peace. They have to work for peace and this attack is in the other direction.”

From H. E. ’s BBC Interview  ( October 1, 2007)

 

“But it is not about the Palestinians and Palestinian territory; it is about the Syrian occupied territory, the Golan Heights. So, if they do not talk about the Syrian occupied territory, there will be no way for Syria to go there.”

From H. E. ’s BBC Interview  ( October 1, 2007)

 

“Syria, which has shouldered the national responsibility, hoisted the banner of struggle and steadfastness, defended the rights, and chosen the course of the dignified life, is to remain ever loyal to her stances, firm to her basics, and determined as to restore every inch of her occupied land; hence the land is the issue of sovereignty, dignity, and rights, which are never to be subject for compromise nor abandoning.”

From H. E. ’s Word to the Syrian Army and Armed Forces,  (August 1, 2007)

 

“Our desire for peace in no way means the renunciation of our rights. Syria, leadership, people, and army, is never to accept but the restoration of the Golan fully to the borders of June 4, 1967. The liberation of our occupied land is the  sacred duty, before being the legitimate right guaranteed by the international legitimacy and its affiliated organizations resolutions.”

From H. E. ’s Word to the Syrian Army and Armed Forces,  (August 1, 2007)

 

“We are firm to our stances and preparedness for the just and comprehensive peace on the basis of relevant International Legitimacy; ready for the resumption of peace negotiations on the basis of the principle of “ the land for peace”, and the full return of the Golan Heights to the line of June 4, 1967.”

 From HE’s Second Presidential Term Inauguration Speech, ( July 17, 2007)

 

“The most of the dangers facing the region is perhaps the absence of will by some parties for the peace which would lead into the realization of stability and prosperity. The resolutions of the international legitimacy and the principle of the land for the peace can only lead to the aspired peace as a de facto guaranteeing the return of the Syrian Arab Golan in full to the lines of June 4 1967.”

From H. E. Press Statements in Turkey  ( October 17, 2007)

 

 " we are not certain of the conference seriousness; this seriousness is linked to the conference Terms of Reference: the basics upon which to be based; whether upon the mood of those who called for the conference! Or to be based upon certain basics like the resolutions of the International Legitimacy: on top of which are 242 and 338 Resolutions and other resolutions. Syria always speaks of the just and comprehensive peace: the comprehensive peace which includes all tracks. This conference is to deal with the Palestinian track; this is good and we will be happy that there is a conference for the Palestinians; but what is our role? We were to go when the objective and the basic is to be the just and comprehensive peace; that is to include the cause of the Golan. We can not only talk about the Palestinian track. The Syrian track is a basic one; and the cause of the Golan is second to none. This Cause is not presented. There is another thing related to seriousness: Were the concerned countries of the Arab Israeli conflict consulted? However, we have not yet received an invitation to attend the said conference; if we were to receive an invitation, these are the conditions of Syria as to attend the international conference."

From H. E. ’s Al Shirouq Daily Interview  ( October 11, 2007)

 

“The strife that has been going on for six decades now in the region is not about personal matters to admire or respect me. It is about rights; we have our land – the Golan Heights – which is occupied and it has to go back. This is the only way to achieve peace and it is not by label or mantra or by just saying that they want peace. They have to work for peace and this attack is in the other direction.”

“But it is not about the Palestinians and Palestinian territory; it is about the Syrian occupied territory, the Golan Heights. So, if they do not talk about the Syrian occupied territory, there will be no way for Syria to go there.”

From H. E. ’s BBC Interview  ( October 1, 2007)

 

“Syria, which has shouldered the national responsibility, hoisted the banner of struggle and steadfastness, defended the rights, and chosen the course of the dignified life, is to remain ever loyal to her stances, firm to her basics, and determined as to restore every inch of her occupied land; hence the land is the issue of sovereignty, dignity, and rights, which are never to be subject for compromise nor abandoning.”

From H. E. ’s Word to the Syrian Army and Armed Forces,  (August 1, 2007)

 

“Our desire for peace in no way means the renunciation of our rights. Syria, leadership, people, and army, is never to accept but the restoration of the Golan fully to the borders of June 4, 1967. The liberation of our occupied land is the  sacred duty, before being the legitimate right guaranteed by the international legitimacy and its affiliated organizations resolutions.”

From H. E. ’s Word to the Syrian Army and Armed Forces,  (August 1, 2007)

 

H. E., President Al-Assad lauded highly the Syrian Citizens and prisoners in the Golan Heights, under the yoke of occupation, steadfastness and national stances “ inside the steadfast Golan, which would , and I am quite certain of that, return to the Syria, the mother HOMEland,”

From HE’s Second  Presidential Term Inauguration Speech , ( July 17, 2007)

 

"I still want to greet, on your behalf and on behalf of every Syrian citizen, our steadfast Syrian brothers and sisters in the occupied Golan. Instead of talking about the international legitimacy resolutions, let us talk about the essence and the substance. As far as we are concerned, these resolutions are the land. So, we salute those who prove everyday the truthfulness of their loyalty to their people and their HOMEland and prove their deep belonging to the causes and dignity of their people and defy with their strong will the Israeli oppression machine. "

From a Speech by HE at Damascus University, (November 10, 2005)

 

"We assure you that we are with you in our hearts and capabilities, and that the Golan will remain at the center of the causes before us so that it returns to its Homeland, Syria. "

From a Speech by HE at Damascus University, (November 10, 2005)

 

"L'accordo era sulla restituzione del Golan a eccezione di una fascia larga cento metri lungo il Lago di Tiberiade. All'ultimo istante Barak si tirò indietro. Fu preso dal timore prima di salire a bordo dell'aereo che doveva condurlo al vertice. Capì che Israele non era pronto alla pace, che lui non aveva un sostegno politico alle spalle. E invece la Siria era pronta. Già con Rabin avevamo sfiorato la pace. Poi Rabin è stato ucciso, e con lui le speranze."

From HE’s Interview with the Italian La Repubblica, (February 28, 2005)

 

"Withdrawing settlers and troops from Gaza certainly is not a bad move. Nevertheless, that alone will not bring peace. Peace is only possible when all relevant UN resolutions have been fulfilled, and they include the return of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the repatriation of refugees, the return of the Golan Heights and the question of an independent Palestine."

From HE’s Interview with the German Spiegel, (July 9, 2001)

 

"We want the Golan, the Syrian land. Syria puts no conditions for this hence the Golan was but her own right,'' "Not a single day passes without the Syrians talk of and work for peace; this is our aim, this very aim is the hope where all of us have interest in lasting and genuine peace"

From HE’s Interview with the French Television, (June 22, 2001)

 

"In this regard, Israel still occupies our Golan and this is a topic that preoccupies us. The liberation of our territory is at the top of our national priorities and is as important to us as the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace that we have adopted as our strategic choice, but not at the expense of our territory nor at the expense of our sovereignty. Our territory and our sovereignty are a matter of national dignity and no one at all is allowed to compromise any of them."

From HE’s First Presidential Term Inauguration Speech, ( July 17, 2000)

 

"We 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 for ever 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."

From HE’s First Presidential Term Inauguration Speech, ( July 17, 2000)

The Occupied Golan Heights in the Words of President Hafez Al-Assad

"Our will for peace is boosted by determination on the liberation, restoration of rights and on safeguarding national dignity. It was our keenness on the peace process as well as on securing security and stability in the region which, time and again, motivated us to keep on announcing our preparedness to resume peace negotiations from where they broke off and on the basis of acknowledging what the previous two Israeli Premiers committed themselves to and on the same bases of the UN Security Council Resolutions and the principle of land for peace," His Excellency has ever called for the establishment of a just balanced New World order in which" Neither the strong control others with their strength nor the weak are weakened by their weakness."

"We Want the Mediterranean to be a sea of peace and friendship where seagulls fly, ships of amity sail not warplanes of killing and destruction,’’

Lattakia, 1987,

An Extract from the late President’s Speech at the inauguration of the third Legislative Term of the People’s Assembly on November 16, 1981

"Israel has wrought havoc in the occupied territories, oppressing our people and turning their lives into hell. But our people are putting up heroic resistance to this aggression. They are standing unarmed in the face of the occupying oppressors, confirming everyday all over the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan that they are holding firm to their own rights and those of their peoples and nations, and that they will keep on resisting the occupation until it is eliminated. We assure our people in the occupied territory, as we have previously done, that we will strive together until they rejoin us and we reunite with them.""

An Extract from The President’s interview granted to the British Daily "The Observer" on March 2, 1982

Question:

In the Golan Cause, Mr. President, you have won a victory in the UN, but this, in my opinion, will not help you regain the region, what is your next step, on the Syrian, Arab and international levels?

Late President’s Answer:

"Our battle with Israel, as it has been commonly known to every one 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."

Question:

Do you feel, Mr. President, that the USA has turned you down? When you met with President Carter in Geneva in 1977, it was plain that things were moving on smoothly between you. Ever since that time, the relations deteriorated; there were the Strategic Cooperation Accord with Israel and the veto against the decision on the Golan. You accuse the USA of interfering with your internal affairs. Is it possible to say that your relations with the USA are at their lowest and that you consider it as a hostile enemy State?

Late President’s answer:

"I have previously said more than once that I had good and positive impressions at the end of the meeting with President Carter, but what happened after the meeting has clearly confirmed that the USA does not have an American policy in the Region, but is implementing an Israel police. We can give many examples which confirm this."

Extract from the President’s Message to the 2nd Conference on Combating Against Racism and Racial Discrimination Geneva, July 30, 1983

"The Israeli racist Regime racism is manifesting its ugliest forms by exercising its racial practices in the West bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan. It continues confiscating Arab lands to build its settlements, applies racial discrimination against the Arabs who are the owners of the lands, plunder their life resources and violate all their rights as enshrined in International law."

Extract from the President’s Message to the UN Committee on Palestinian People’s rights November 29, 1983

"Ever since its foundation, Israel has committed a long series of savage assaults against the Arab Countries. It has openly and frequently expressed its intentions and objectives to control the region. The most recent of instances on such Israeli policy are its decisions on annexing Arab Jerusalem and the Arab Golan territory annexation and the invasion of Lebanon with all the brutal actions of assassination and destruction that it carried along, besides the attempts to deprive Lebanon of its independence, sovereignty, and its territorial integrity by means of the agreement which the USA and Israel have endeavored to impose on it. Israel is held completely responsible for the Palestinian Arab People’s ordeal and displacing millions of Arabs from their homeland in Palestine, the Golan and Lebanon. It furthermore exercises the most disgusting forms of the policy of racial discrimination against Arab citizens all over the territories it is occupying. By the whole of its aggressive and expansionist practices, Israel has created an explosive situation in our Region which has perilous reflections against the world peace and security."

Extract from the President’s Message to the UN Women Conference Nairobi, July 15, 1985

"Thousands of women in the occupied Syrian Golan and Palestinian territories are daily suffering from the arbitrariness of Occupation, the arrest of their husbands, brothers and children who are being tortured in the Israeli occupation jails. In addition to suffering the Enemy’s racial practices applied against the people of the occupied territories."

Extract from the President’s Speech addressed to the Syrian Physicians residing in USA August 15, 1985

"The Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, standing at the Aqaba Gulf in 1967 and looking towards the Arabian Peninsula, said, " I smell my ancestors in their homeland which we aspire, and which we must regain". Moshe Dayan visited the Israeli soldiers after occupying the Golan in 1967 and told them that the Israelis who came before us had founded Israel in 1948, we have founded Israel in 1967 and you have to establish Greater Israel which is from the Nile to the Euphrates. It is unreasonable to displace people from their homeland in order to place another, or to plan for groups of people to be placed there. We are nowadays confronting a false myth which tries by force to came true. The talk about occupying the West bank and other Arab territories, that was going on before 1967, was opposed by the Arabs, the rightful owners of lands, inside and outside Syria. Yet Israel, nevertheless, occupied the whole of Palestine, the Golan and Sinai in 1967. In one of Israel’s expansionist stages that she wants to continue the detriment of the Arabs."

Extract from the President’s Message to the 12th General Conference Of The World Federation of Democratic Youth November 23, 1986

"This racist expansionist movement, which has in the past closely cooperated with the Apartheid Regime, its ally in South Africa, is still exercising oppression and terrorism against the Arab people in the Golan, the West bank, Gaza Strip an d the south of Lebanon, and receives the support of imperialism and colonialist forces, one campaign after another launched against Syria under the pretext that Syria helps terrorism, the name they use to describe the freedom-fighters who resist aggression and occupation while Israel is full engaged in the worst kind of state terrorism."

Extract from the President’s speech at the 25th Anniversary of the March 8th Revolution delivered on March 8, 1988

"Our people in the Golan are steadfast in their resistance to the Occupation. Our brothers in occupied Palestine are steadfast in their resistance, and our Arab Lebanese Brothers are steadfast too against the Occupation in South Lebanon. Your brothers and children in the Golan are still confronting the Enemy ever since the occupation, particularly after his attempt to impose the Zionist Nationality upon them. They have vigorously stood against its attempt. They remain steadfast in front of the Israeli pressure. The Enemy has failed and will always fail. Israel wants the Syrians of the Golan to be detached from their people and history and live without roots and heritage. The Zionist racism with its hatred to people in general and to the Arab nation in particular is pushing the Israelis to commit every crime in order to execute their abominable designs. But people can not detach themselves off their roots and histories. Your children and brethren start off from this reality. So, Our Syrian children and brothers in the Golan! can make sure that the Enemy understands that we are not asleep. Today we are here and the forthcoming day is ours with confidence and certainty."

Extract from the late President’s speech at the dinner banquet given by the President and Mrs. Hafez Al-Assad in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Rajiv Gandhi on June 4, 1988

"The resistance to the Occupation in the Syrian Golan territory, the Intifada of the Palestinian Arab People in its occupied territories and the continuous resistance in South of Lebanon are the natural outcome of the continuity of occupation. This resistance is a national duty practiced by any person whose land is occupied, and is practiced by the Arab people in the Golan, South Lebanon, West Bank and Gaza Strip. Aggressors must understand that brutal methods of subjugation and repression shall not suppress the spirit of resistance in the People and shall not impose surrender on them."

Extract from the President’s speech to the Armed Forces at the 43rd anniversary of the Syrian Arab Army on August 1st, 1988

"The heroic battles you fought during the October War and then the War of the Golan and Mount Hermon have meant a great change. Through your magnificent performance, sacrifices and the blood of the martyrs, you have shattered the myth of the invincible army and smashed the Enemy’s self-conceit and arrogance. Also, you have proved both to the nation and the world that the Syrian Arab Forces are worthy of both their name and the mission they have assumed. In the name of our People and yours, I greet our kinsfolk in the Golan and assure them that the occupation is destined to disappear."

Extract from the joint press conference with Lebanese President Elias El-Hrawi on May 22, 1991

Question :

What about Sharon’s declaration claiming that the Israeli government wants to double amount of the settlements in the occupied Golan, and what are the effects of this on the peaceful march in the middle east and the international efforts exerted for this purpose?

President’s answer:

"Nothing because the peace process will either march as a whole or freeze as a whole. Israel is not just building settlements now only, but has been building settlements ever since the early comers of the invaders, It built them many years ago but this will not have any effect. The land is ours and, no one can ever swallow it however strong one’s stomach is, because Arab thorn can never be digested, not even Sharon's big stomach can."

Extract from the interview granted to The "Washington Post" and "Newsweek" the American Daily and Magazine on July 28, 1991

Question:

I am sure you understand that there is some ambiguity about your message to President Bush; there is a question asked: Has the USA given Syria any side guarantees or understanding about the Occupied Golan.

President’s answer:

"The USA has not given us any guarantees, but confirmed its commitment to the UN resolutions adopted in 1967, 1973 and the 1980’s. The USA has taken certain positioning, not only at the advent of the current Administration:

The former Administration had confirmed also the continuous commitment to those resolutions. We want no more from anyone. We demand the USA, the Soviet Union and the other permanent members of the Security Council, abide by what they have decided on or participated in deciding according to the UN resolutions. Particularly as all such states say that there is no way to realize peace other than through the UN resolutions."

Question:

Do you mean the return of all Arab lands is required in to such resolutions?

Late President’s answer:

"This is what the UN resolutions provide. As you know, both the USA and the Soviet Union have not recognized any measure previously taken by Israel as regards such lands. I would also like to recall that these position and resolutions were taken by previous administrations. The USA does not recognize the annexation of the Golan, and has previously rejected it, together with all other states."

Question:

Israel is wondering whether you are planning to enter into direct negotiations with her after the formal opening of the conference?

Late President’s answer:

"The delegations to the Conference will discuss issues specific to them; while the Syrian Delegation for instance will discuss the Golan Issue. Who will discuss such issue instead? No one, other than the Syrians, can discuss what relates to the Syrian territory. This is not new to my, attitude even previously, when we have been discussing the Peace Conference, it was obvious that it will split technically; there will be Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian and Palestinian geographical committees so that these delegations discuss their regional issues, but the peace process and the final outcome must be a comprehensive settlement , i.e. realization of peace between the various Arab Parties and Israel, other wise there will be no peace."

Question:

I believe that we don't think really that Israel is going to give up everything. Your Excellency is talking about UN resolutions. Do you believe that Israel will quit Gaza, Jerusalem, the Golan and the West bank? if she did would there be any space left for maneuvering or for security?

Late President’s answer:

"Was the World Community unjust when it decided that Israel must quit the occupied territories. Will then the map of the world be liable to change according to the whims of one maverick party in the international community."

Extract from the interview granted to American TV "ABC" on September 16, 1991.

Question:

Of course I understand that you will not negotiate with me, but you will negotiate in the Conference. Suppose that the Conference convened and an agreement on the Golan was reached, will this be sufficient to make peace with Israel?

Late President’s answer:

"The efforts currently exerted are based on the Security Council Resolutions N° 242 and N° 338 on the basis of realizing a comprehensive peace in the region. The Golan, as an occupied Syrian territory, shall be reinstated, within the framework of such comprehensive peace, to its natural status as part of Syrian territory. Upon implementing the comprehensive solution for the two Arab and Israeli sides, comprehensive peace will prevail and documents will be achieve peace process. This as you know will be decided within the Conference, the Israeli side on the one hand and the Arab side on the other.

Question:

Have you been promised by President Bush that he will exert pressure upon Israel to return the Golan? I know that he has informed you that he does not recognize the annexation of the Golan, but has he promised you to exert pressure upon Israel?

Late President’s answer:

"It is not only President Bush who talks about the Golan as a Syrian territory, but the successive American Administrations have always confirmed. President Bush is just by the American attitude as regarding the Golan issue and that of the occupied territories in general. At any rate, I do not believe that there is a man in the USA who accepts to live in illusion who says that peace will be recognized between the Arabs and Israel even if the occupation of the occupied Arab territories does not come to an end."

Extract from the interview granted to the American "Time" Magazine on November 13, 1992

Question:

Egypt was able, through negotiation, to regain Sinai, will Syria conduct similar negotiations with Israel through which it regains the Golan?

President’s answer:

"What is going on now ? Isn’t it negotiating? Are negotiations not being conducted between Syria and Israel?"

Question:

Is it possible to imagine an agreement signed with Israel under which Syria regains the Golan and the state of war is terminated, and leave other issues to be solved later?

Late President’s answer:

"Is this what you meant when you talked about Egypt? Peace is not, and must not be, realized at the expense of the territories of the others. What is the Arab motivation to work for peace if such peace will give their lands to Israelis? There are half a million displaced people from the Golan, how can we convince them that we have to give a part of the Golan to Israel?"

Question:

Do we understand that regaining the Golan is not sufficient, from your point of view, to give peace to Israel and that you want to wait until the West Bank is returned in order to give peace thereafter to Israel and sign with it a peace agreement?

Late President’s answer:

"We have not previously gone into details, and we do not want to at the moment. It is essential now that there must be an acknowledgment from everyone of what has been mentioned in the principles which have been adopted for building peace, before commencing of the peace process, namely the comprehensiveness of solution. Every side should have reassurance that we are heading towards the comprehensive settlement; each bilateral committee then will have its own job."

Question:

In case you are able to cut a deal or reach an arrangement about the Golan, whereas the other issues remain unsettled, will you keep talking about the comprehensive peace. Is it not possible to realize peace if everything is not achieved as a package?

Late President’s answer:

"All Arab parties are interested in the reassurance that comprehensive peace is coming. They realize that there are some particularities of each of the issues. One side may advance faster or slower than the other in case reassurance is available."

Question:

A compromise about any of the issues put for negotiations?

Late President’s answer:

"If you mean the Golan, there is no compromise as regards the land issue. This is an issue that the American Administration knows, written down on paper and known also by the Israelis. No one in Syria can relinquish an inch of the land; he who relinquishes a part of his land or sells out any part of his homeland is a betrayer of the people. This is an axiom believed by each Syrian citizen. When People judges that one is a betrayer, then one’s fate is known. I have this conviction. Therefore I say that compromise on land issue is out of question and not on our agenda. If you wander throughout Syria, from one end to the other, you will never find a Syrian who accepts a peace that leaves a part of the Golan in the hands of Israel."

Question:

"I understand from what you have said that the whole of the Golan should be returned to Syria. Is it possible, within such concept, that you can meet some of the Israeli security requirements?

Late President’s answer:

"The settlement, within the principles of the peace, should ensure security to all parties. This is one of the few points which have been agreed upon during the talks, namely the security arrangements must ensure security for both parties."

Question:

Can the Sinai Agreement be an example for a settlement? There is multi-national UN Force in Sinai after it has been regained, do you accept a similar thing in case you recover the Golan?

Late President’s answer:

"I don’t have now in mind all the details of the Sinai Agreement, but I agree with the American Official, and the Syrian Delegation agreed with the Israeli One during the talks, that there must be security arrangements for both parties. As regards the means and methods of realizing security there are no difficulties which can not be settled."

Question:

Is there then a great change in the Israeli position? in the past the Israelis insisted on keeping the land in order to realize and guarantee their own security?

Late President’s answer:

"What they say is one thing and their conviction is another. It is not true that they have seized the Golan for peace, because the occupation never gave them the security in the past nor can it give them security now."

Question:

If the Israelis are convinced now that geography does not give them peace, does this mean that a great change has come into the Israeli position?

Late President’s answer:

"They have been long convinced of this, ever since they occupied the Golan. Our delegation to the talks has heard something like this from them. They have previously said, after 1967, that they have seized the Golan in order to keep the Syrians away from the Israeli settlements, have they realized this? They have advanced 20 km, but the range of the guns, as you know, has been for many years much greater than this; they have not realized such objective which they have said they were heading for. Occupation of the Golan has not realized security to them. They have occupied the Golan in order to keep us away from the settlements, as they said, but they have introduced new settlements and built them one or two kilometers from the Syrian forces. This means that they have not occupied to keep us away from the settlements. Had their logic been accepted, they would have been entitled now to send us away from such new settlements in order to build up other new ones, and so endlessly on. This logic is rejected."

Question:

Do you expect more from Yitzhak Rabin than Shamir?

Late President’s answer:

"Rabin talks more. He talks about peace and partial withdrawal. The logic is different and the language is different, but if he maintains such logic, the result won’t be peace. We, as I have told you, can not relinquish our land. I believe that Rabin would lose his voters if he does not agree to total withdrawal from the Golan. There are parties and rabbis, among them is the Chief Rabbi, in Israel who call for withdrawal from the Golan and say that the Golan is not a part of "Eretz Ysrael". The Israeli government convened in 1967 and decided on withdrawal from Sinai, the Golan and the rest of the occupied territories in case peace is realized."

An Extract from the interview granted to media men at the conclusion of the President Assad talks with President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on March 27, 1993

Question:

What is Syria’s definition of the peace it wants in the light of the fact that Israel has not announced the volume of its withdrawal from the Golan while awaiting to know the quality and scope of the peace Syria wants?

Late President’s answer:

"By such announcement, Israel wants in the first instance, to impede the peace process. The Golan is a Syrian territory which is not connected with what they try to hint by their use of the expression scope of peace. The Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs has previously said what the negotiating Syrian delegation had also said that we want just peace in accordance with the UN resolutions; a peace that ensures stability in the region in which we all live."

Extract from the interview granted to media men at the conclusion of the President Assad talks with President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on March 27, 1993

Question:

What is Syria’s definition of the peace it wants in the light of the fact that Israel has not announced the volume of its withdrawal from the Golan while awaiting to know the quality and scope of the peace Syria wants?

Late President’s answer:

"By such announcement, Israel wants in the first instance, to impede the peace process. The Golan is a Syrian territory which is not connected with what they try to hint by their use of the expression scope of peace. The Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs has previously said what the negotiating Syrian delegation had also said that we want just peace in accordance with the UN resolutions; a peace that ensures stability in the region in which we all live."

Extract from the interview granted to the 1948-Palestinians Delegation headed by Mr. Abdul-Wahab Darawsheh on March 9, 1994

"The media in Israel continuously claims that Syria is threatening Israel’s security. The Israelis in the peace talks, until now, saying the same thing and some foreign visitors who come to meet us, talk about the Golan and its threats to Israel’s security. We refer them to the UN documents and the decisions of the Mixed Armistice commission relative to the clashes along the Syrian-Israeli Front since 1948. All such decisions, except for one or two on which differences exist, condemn Israel. They are more than one hundred documents."

Extract from the President’s Statement delivered at the People’s Palace at the conclusion of the President’s talks with the American President Bill Clinton on October 27, 1994

"I have assured President Clinton that, based on the principle of total withdrawal for total peace, Syria is ready to commit itself to the objective peace requirements as regards establishing normal peace relations with Israel, in return for Israel’s full withdrawal from the Golan up to the lines of June 4th, 1967 and from South Lebanon."

Extract from the President’s Statement delivered at the People’s Palace at the conclusion of the President’s talks with the American President Bill Clinton on October 27, 1994

"I have assured President Clinton that, based on the principle of total withdrawal for total peace, Syria is ready to commit itself to the objective peace requirements as regards establishing normal peace relations with Israel, in return for Israel’s full withdrawal from the Golan up to the lines of June 4th, 1967 and from South Lebanon."

Extract from the interview granted to media men at the conclusion of the President’s talks with Egyptian President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak in Damascus on December 1st, 1994

Question:

We want to know exactly about what points of difference exist in the Syrian-Israeli peace project. We hear from the Israeli Side but not from the Syrian Side. What are exactly the points of difference? Is it true what some American sources spoke about a possible presence of American peacekeepers in the Golan? Is it good for the Arabs that we are not told clearly by a Syrian official what precisely are the points of difference?

President’s answer:

"As regards the American peacekeepers, no one has discussed the matter with us we hear about it as you do, and read about it as you do; we will give our opinion when it is discussed with us. As for the points of difference between us and Israel regarding the peace process, I prefer that people ask about points of agreement between us. We have not agreed upon any thing yet. We have only headlines : withdrawal, peace, security. And there is no agreement on any of them. I think I can give you something from my own. I Thank my Brother President Mubarak for his visit and our meeting today because it was very useful, just like all other previous meetings between me and him. I, however, reiterate, as we previously have done, that our relations are very solid, and will continue to be so God Willing. "

Extract from the interview granted to media men at the conclusion of the President’s talks with Egyptian President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak in Damascus on June 1st 1995

Question:

There is now talk about two points; Israel is speaking about withdrawal to the international lines in the Golan, and you are speaking about withdrawal to the line of June 4th, Israel is also speaking about the necessity of raising up the negotiating level, particularly after the final security arrangements are achieved. What is the Syrian position as regards these two issues?

President’s answer:

"First, we have not yet reached an agreement as regards the withdrawal issue. Syria’s position is, of course, known and obvious , namely we strongly adhere to, and will not give up, the line of June 4th, 1967. All who are dealing with the peace process know this conviction, namely, that Syria will never accept less than this. This issue is decided, at least for us. As regards the second issue, I believe that negotiating is being conducted on a high level; who is negotiating? There is an American intermediate who comes to meet with us, and goes to the other party to meet also with the top of them. We do not have a higher level, they also do not have a higher level, hence the level is high; I know that they may say that this is not a real negotiating, and that this is rounds that are made from time to time and at long intervals, but this is so far the suitable system. This matter , as I know, is not discussed now as it has been during previous periods. At any rate, peace is peace, whether it comes through an ambassador, a head of state or his minister of foreign affairs."

Extract from the interview granted at the conclusion of the joint press conference with Egyptian President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on September 3rd, 1995

Question:

It seems now that there are some obstacles on the Syrian - Israeli track of peace negotiations, and that there is news said about Syria’s rejection of proposals relative to surveillance and other issues in the Golan. What is currently the Syrian positions as regards the Syrian track?

Late President’s answer:

"We all, no doubt, know that this track is in a stalemate. The Israelis and most of their demands are outside the framework of the international resolutions. Syria wants to work within the framework of the international resolutions, not beyond. Of course it is not expected that we go into details of the issues and give examples, but we can simply say that deviation of any side from the framework of the international resolutions means that it does not support, the peace process which is based on these resolutions. Syria is committed to and abiding by the international resolutions which it has agreed upon."

The Liberation War of October for Just Peace

The late President, Hafez Assad confirmed that Syria’s objective is to restore the usurped rights; " We have fought in order to restore the land and rights. The struggle has been carried on to realize such objective. The wars we have fought and sacrificed for were not for the sake of exercising our strength or for the mere love of strife. We have always fought, to defend our right and dignity and to free the land.", "We want the honorable peace that will be acceptable to our peoples and will not cede a grain of our Homeland. It is the peace under which neither our rights will be relinquished nor the dignity of our Nation will be neglected".

The preparation stages were confined to Syria and Egypt being the two Countries capable of stirring the military and political situation under the general and particular circumstances prevailing at the time. It was obvious that any war to be waged against Israel would be a limited one because the international community would not support the Arabs further than liberating the territories occupied in 1967. It was by the end of 1972 that Syria and Egypt thought of the preparations for initiating the battle. Egypt set up the "Planning Commission" which was instructed to immediately consider the Israeli military potentials. After exhausting studies, it was concluded that the Israeli army’s fighting capabilities were based on four basic factors:

• A powerful air force,

• Adequate equipment and logistics living active support of land and marine forces,

• A reliance on the USA in risky times, and

• Training programs that ensure the highest technical standard of the warriors.

The following basic negative phenomena appeared in the meantime on the Israeli military situation:

• The control of vast territories resulted in very long transportation roads between the battle fields and the basic concentration points.

• The limited population potential necessarily imposed a limited fighting capability for a limited span of time.

• The economy which depended on foreign support and subsidy found itself unable to stand a long fighting period.

• The long disconnected fighting lines left vast open gaps of land full of Arabs who obviously opposed to the occupation.

Consultations continued until Syria agreed, in the meeting held in Damascus on June 12, 1973 between the two Presidents Hafez Al-Assad and Anwar Al-Sadat, to hold talks with the Egyptian side to set the bases of coordination between the Syrian and Egyptian armies. Soon after, both sides approved the plan of attacking Israel simultaneously from the north and south. The military operations coordinators initiated the first step early in February 1973 by working within one strategy to train the armed forces and provide them with a variety of equipment and weaponry necessary for the fight this required sophisticated weapons and advanced technological equipment to encounter the Israeli army. The Soviets agreed, in May 1973, to provide Syria and Egypt with the requested weaponry and to finalize the construction of a ground-to-air missile network similar to that available in Egypt. In the meantime Syria received the modern T-62 tanks, modern interceptor modified MIG-21MF planes.

Egypt, on the other hand, got a sufficient quantity of weapons which included planes, tanks, guided missiles and various ammunition. Hence the units dedicated to the war were ready and provided with the sophisticated weaponry awaiting the zero-hour which would be foreseen by such coordinators to be 14h00 on October 6th, 1973:

• Upon realizing, by the morning of October 6th, 1973 that the War was inevitably breaking out shortly, the Israeli Command put at alert only the regular forces and compulsory units of 95,000 men besides the most important personnel of the reserve fighting forces (commanders only ) taking for granted that the regular army, supported by the air force, would be able to quickly deal with the events to take place along the fronts of fight. The Government held a session on October 5th, 1973 attended by the Chief-of Staff, to discuss the extraordinary circumstances and the Arab military movements as indicated by the Intelligence reports the session called for the utmost alert of regular and compulsory units besides the important personnel of the fighting reserve forces only. This implied the excessive self confidence and belittling of the other side strength.

• The high-ranking war generals, headed by the two Generals Moshe Dayan and David Ali’azar, so belittled and completely disregarded the Arab military preparations that they declared that the Israeli army would surely be able to defeat and crush, within 48 hours, any attack through the Suez Canal. This was confirmed by the Israelis on the assumption that it would take Egyptians 24 hours to build up bridges and another 24 hours to cross the Canal, which would give them enough time to call for the strategic Israeli reserve forces to newly defeat the Egyptians and compel them to yield to the Israeli conditions.

• Air photos, taken few hours before the attack, showed the enforcement on the Arab lines and the huge military movements along the other side. The Israeli political officials and war generals did not assume their responsibility and behave as required under such extraordinary circumstances.

All the above however did not mean that Israel was taken by complete surprise , which was clearly indicated by Dayan’s visit on 26 September 1973 to the Occupied Golan due to his fears of renewal fight and at the information he received about Syria’s intention to carry out a limited military action in the north. At the end of such visit, Dayan interfered with the tasks of his subordinate military commanders and instructed the north region Commander to increase the number of forces concentrated in the Golan and to double the number of the tanks and other weaponry at the first front line in order to confront any Syrian attempt.

President Hafez Al-Assad confirmed in this respect that Israel was expecting a battle when he said, "I want to clear a point which must never be obscure to those who want to objectively and impartially write the history of the October War. The Arab attack has not been completely surprising to the enemy. This has been brought to us through the statements of the prisoners of war who have confirmed that their commands have been aware of the attack before it has occurred".

On the afternoon of 6 October 1973, at exactly 14 h 05, the Egyptian Southern Front forces and the Syrian Northern front forces launched the war against Israel on both the Egyptian and Syrian fronts, complete surprise was achieved, giving the Arabs a strong initial advantage and headed to the occupied Syrian Golan and Al-Houleh Plain to bomb their targets. Squadrons of such warplanes succeeded in hitting the Israeli concentrations and camps in Sheria Shafe and Mishmar Hyrden in Al-Houleh plain, whereas many others concentrated their attacks on the Israeli camps and military settlements in the Occupied Golan. At that very moment, the Helicopters full of commandos headed for their targets in the Mt. Hermon "Israeli" impregnable position, the Israeli Forces Head Quarter in Kafr Naffakh and other targets in the Occupied Golan. When the Israeli warplanes interfered, many air battles took place between the Syrian and Israeli warplanes over South of Lebanon, the Golan and Al-Houleh Plain.

The land attack was initiated on the same day by three infantry legions of 60,000 soldiers enforced with 600 modern T-54, T-55 and T-62 Russian tanks. The following forces were left behind, as a reserve of the Command-in-Chief which could be used upon need:

• Two armored legions

• Enforced armored brigade of the Defense Detachments and

• Many infantry battalions enforced with tanks.

The Syrian artillery began the liberation process with heavy shelling of about 1,000 guns of different calibres. The Syrian attack was a blitzkrieg. The Syrian forces, enforced with an Arab Moroccan brigade, advanced in huge numbers succeeding defeating the Israeli tanks. They were encountered on the other side by two Israeli armored brigades , and two mechanical infantry in addition to extra backing troops. The Israeli defensive lines consisted of a long trench, 4 m deep by 4 m wide, with a soil wall along its western side; to prevent the tanks from proceeding, in addition to mine fields and barbed wires. The Syrian commandos, air-borne in MI-8 Helicopters, landed near the "Israeli" impregnable strategically-important position in Mt. Hermon. The attacking force, consisting of two Syrian commando detachments, succeeded in surprising the Israeli forces at two infantry detachments enforced with some armored vehicles. The Syrian force controlled the position with the least losses, captured the defending force and seized the electronic equipment and devices as well as the sophisticated telescopes which were used by Israelis to monitor the movements of the Arab Forces and scout their positions. The Syrian Forces dashed in the Golan along three main axis. According to the analysts, the Israelis were much anxious by the Syrian attack than the Egyptian crossing operation of the Suez Canal and smashing of Bar-Lev defenses Line. The Syrian forces, in the southern sector, penetrated as far as El’al Village ; 32 km behind the enemy lines.

For better understanding of the nature and value of the military operations on the Syrian Front, it is quite vital to quickly review to the situation of this Front in the aftermath of the 1967-War. The Israeli forces built strong defensive posts in the Occupied Golan and anti-tank trenches along the cease-fire line about 1 km away on the Israeli side. It stretched along the confrontation line from the northern to the southern sector and enforced with a parallel soil wall from the Israeli side. Due to its importance, the Israeli forces concentration in such posts was very heavy in order to ward off any Syrian attack and prevent Syrian forces from restoring the Golan, or at least not to give them a place to easily attack such sector. It is important to mention that the fall of such sector would greatly affect the general situation in the whole of the Golan.; because it would give the Syrian force the possibility to descend southwards and turn around the Israeli lines along the mid and southern sectors besides the resultant complications throughout the Heights. Such complications would be obviously embodied with threats to the occupied northern Israel, Al-Houleh Plain and upper Hebron, not to mention the control of water sources emptying into the Jordan River. This sector technically allows the Israel forces free maneuvering and movement; a defensive position could be taken in case of a successful attack and a watchful control of both the Syrian forces and the middle and southern sectors.

Israel began the rapid mobilization of its reserve forces, the highly trained and numerically most important part of its defensive system. But before they could play an effective part, Egyptian armed forces had occupied the east bank of the canal to depth of several miles and by the third day were advancing to the strategic Mitla pass in Sinai at 16h15 on 6 October 1973, the Israeli Broadcasting Service stopped its programs to transmit, in Hebrew, the statement of the Israeli army spokesman who announced that, "The Syrian and Egyptian Forces have initiated at 14h05 today their air and land attacks on the Occupied Golan and Sinai. After a series of air raids on our positions and camps, the Egyptian infantry troops have begun the land attack and succeeded in crossing the Suez Canal in many points. The Syrian forces have begun a tank and infantry attack along the front of the Occupied Golan. Air and land battles are still going on."

The Syrian tactics seemed unexpected to the Israelis in the north with an attack of three infantry legions enforced with 800 tanks, 100 field guns and 100 warplanes, with the objective of quick penetration to the furthest depth and destruction of the Israeli forces available there.

On the south, the Egyptian forces of five legions, 800 tanks and 200 warplanes, were hurled into the battle.

In order to ward off the attacks, the Israeli Command ordered its air force to interfere. 40 minutes after the Arab attack, 70 Israeli warplanes soared in the south to destroy the bridges which were, or being, constructed and hit the Egyptian forces in order to impede their crossing of the Suez Canal. The Israeli objective was to stop the stream of the Egyptian forces across the Canal and keep them confined within the limits which would safeguard the defending forces until the strategic reserve reached.

• The Syrian anti-aircraft defensive network played a magnificent role in the War and achieved great success in the confrontations with the Israeli planes. The losses it inflicted upon them were so huge that the Israeli Air Force Command was quickly compelled to resort to the USA in order to compensate for the great shortage in the number of its planes which made the situation on the Fronts very much critical, confusing and worrying.

• The directed modern ground-to-ground, ground-to-air, air-to-air, air-to-ground and various anti-tank weapons which were successfully used by the two sides along with the astounding results recorded in the War.

• The use of the Arab oil as weapon for the first time in the history of Arab-Israeli conflict resulted in effective and active results. President Hafez Al-Assad said in this concern that, "If this gives any meaning, it is the truth of the Arab unity, and that our Nation is alive. Its unity and liveliness appear most magnificently during catastrophes and hardships". His Excellency confirmed that our steadfastness during the Liberation War started to give the motto of "battle nationalization" its applicable actual meaning. The President thanked the sisterly Iraqi Forces whose soldiers fought as heroes against the enemy and whose bloods mingled with those of their brothers of the Syrian and Moroccan Forces. His Excellency thanked all participating Arab Forces which, by such participation, actually expressed the nationalization of the battle.

The Tishreen War has revealed a series of historical facts, imposed the reorganization of international formulas, established new type of relations and eliminated many false statements. The Tishreen spirit still exists in spite of by opposed powers endless, efforts to eliminate its traces. Tishreen War proved a basic fact embodied by the rejection and confrontation of the aggression. It is still continuing in a way or another. It won’t fade away until it fulfills all its objectives of liberating the territories, restoration of rights and consequently realize the security and peace. Political action came to complement military action, as apart of struggle. It is within this framework that Syria has agreed on the peace initiative based to the two Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the "land for peace" Principle.

The Israeli concept is related to aggressive expansion. Expressing the Israeli concept of peace, Moshe Dayan said, "The peace that Israel wants was achieved in 1967. We are endeavoring to establish an informal peace with the Arabs. We are not in need of official peace. If we are trying to replace the Big Powers in the Area, we must have canine teeth which should be military, economic and geographical ones". on its head on 6 October 1973; the myth was undone, the earthquake knocked down Israeli made Israel lose its balance. To enable Israel and its army escape the eradicative defeat, America openly and directly interfered on the fourth day of the War. The most modern weapons were abundantly and incessantly sent to Israel from the American arsenal on a flow which was not match able along the history of wars. 

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