9 December 2013
During the Israeli-Arab war of 1967, Israel captured 70% of the Syrian Golan and 130.000 of the native inhabitants were forcibly transferred. In 1981 Israel illegally annexed the occupied Golan and since that moment Israel has considered itself as “sovereign” over that territory, although the International Community considered this annexation void and null and has never accepted it.
Nowadays there are five villages inhabited by native Syrian people, all of them are in the north and the number of indigenous Syrian people remaining in the Golan stands at 20000. On the other hand, there are more than 20000 Jewish settlers in the Occupied Syrian Golan, and in order to accommodate those 33 illegal settlements have been built within the region. The Israeli settlements are mainly in the south and the most important and biggest one is Qatzrin.
Approximately only 6% of the occupied territory remains under the indigenous Syrian population control, the rest has been expropriated for military use or for settlements.
According to the Law of Occupation, Israel being the occupying country, has the legal obligation to act as just administrator of public property and natural resources. Nevertheless, at the beginning of 2013 Israel’s Energy and Water Resources Ministry granted Genie Energy, an American-Israeli company, an exclusive licence to explore for oil and gas in a 153-square miles radius in the southern part of the Golan. This action violates international law and therefore it is illegal.
Read the full document: Position Paper – Oil and natural gas in the occupied Syrian Golan