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Israeli President Calls on World to Recognize Golan Annexation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Israeli soldiers near the Golan Heights. (AFP)

Tel Aviv- Israeli settlers have marked the 50th anniversary of the Golan Heights occupation and its annexation at a later stage.

“The nations of the world must formally recognize that the Golan is an integral part of the state of Israel, and is essential to our existence as a people,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told an event.

“The internal Israeli debate about the Golan, if there was one, has ended,” he said.

Taking the war in Syria as an excuse for his demand, the Israeli president said: “We will never leave the residents of the Galilee exposed to the intentions and weapons of a regime that massacres its own citizens.”

“Fifty years of Jewish settlement on the Golan Heights is not just fifty (years) of Jewish history on the Golan Heights. Anyone who knows Jewish history here in the Golan knows it is a history of 2,000 years. We have here archaeological findings from biblical times. To be accurate, until the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the Golan Heights were forever and always an integral part of the Galilee region,” Rivlin added.

Israel seized the strategic plateau from neighboring Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israel subsequently annexed the 1,200 square kilometers of territory in an action never recognized by the international community.