Israeli ambassador to Russia: Handing over Golan Heights to Syria is "naive"
Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (Photo: Sputnik)
Date: 2017-08-01 20:08
Israeli Ambassador to Russia Gary Koren said in an interview with Sputnik on Tuesday that Israel is not going to negotiate on the issue of handing over the Golan Heights to Syria.
Israel does not plan on returning the country’s northern Golan Heights region to Syria, Koren told Sputnik, commenting on the central roadblock in long-standing conflict between Israel and Syria.
"According to our legislation, the Golan Heights are an independent part within Israel. If anyone keeps thinking that this question has yet to be discussed, it is naive of them. In the past, during the tenure of Ehud Barak’s government, we tried to hold talks, explore the opportunity of talks with Hafez Assad, but it did not take us anywhere. Well, thank God it failed. If we had returned the Golan Heights, we would now have Hezbollah and Iranian soldiers over the the Kinneret lake," Koren said.
Israel occupied over the Syrian Golan Heights during the Six-Day War, which broke out in June 1967. After over a decade of managing the territory through a military administration, Israel de facto annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, adopting a law on extending the country’s jurisdiction over the area. This move has not been internationally recognized.