Al-Marsad has written to the EU Delegation to Israel and EU Member State embassies about Israel’s discriminatory and illegal policies towards the native Syrian population in the Occupied Syrian Golan; Israel’s recent inflammatory statements regarding the sovereignty of the Occupied Syrian Golan; and continued illegal settlement expansion and exploitation of natural resources. Al-Marsad has requested that the EU raise these concerns and obtain binding commitments from Israel that it will stop these activities, during the upcoming EU-Israel Association Council meeting.
Al-Marsad has also called on politicians in Europe to support the EU and its Member States ensure that Israel abides by its obligations under international law.
The letter is available here. A summary of the urgent issues raised is below:
- Discriminatory land, housing and development policies have meant that existing Syrian residential areas are densely populated and lack vital infrastructure, as horizontal expansion on surrounding land is not possible – a stark contrast to the ever increasing outward expansion of illegal settlements.
- The continued deployment of landmines and Israeli army bases in and around Syrian residential and civilian areas – often within a few metres of people’s houses and where children play – create a risk of death and injury.
- The Syrian population has little say in how their schools are run and what their children are taught. The Israeli curriculum seeks to disregard and diminish the Syrian identity and culture, as well as the civilization and history of the local community.
- Israel is cynically seeking to profit from the ongoing conflict in Syria by calling for international recognition of Israel’s illegal annexation and military occupation of the Occupied Syrian Golan. It is using tried and tested tactics on the ground to further its goals, including increased settlement expansion and exploitation of natural resources.
Al-Marsad has called on the EU to obtain binding commitments from Israel in the upcoming EU-Israel Association Council meeting that Israel will abide by its obligations under international law, and, in particular:
- End discriminatory policies against the native Syrian population in the Occupied Syrian Golan.
- Stop the illegal construction and expansion of settlements, and exploration and extraction of natural resources, in the Occupied Syrian Golan.
- Desist from making inflammatory statements regarding the sovereignty of the Occupied Syrian Golan.
Dr Nizar Ayoub, Director of Al-Marsad, commenting on the upcoming meeting, said: “These serious violations of international law by Israel not only have severe consequences for the Syrian population of the Occupied Syrian Golan, but also create an obstacle to achieve durable peace in the Middle East – the EU must act now”