State Dept. report says disputed Golan Heights 'controlled' by Israel

Lamar Ellis
March 15, 2019

Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, a move condemned by the United Nations and rejected by the worldwide community. "It is meant to eventually control teams of Syrian operatives who will launch attacks against Israel", said the IDF in a statement.

Months later, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, said Israel will hold on to the Syrian territory indefinitely.

The army said the unit was in the establishment and recruitment stage and was not yet operational. Daqduq wa behind of bloody attacks against Western troops in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, including one attack which killed five USA soldiers.

Hezbollah began establishing it in the summer of 2018, it said.

"Daqduq has a well deserved reputation of a villain in Iraq, there is a lot of American blood on his hands", former USA ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and visiting fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) told The Post on Thursday, adding that "for Americans and particularly those involved in this episode there's no difference in the analysis about the sort of nefarious actor he is".

"What we're trying to do is report on the human rights situation in those territories; you're just trying to find a way of describing the place that you're reporting on", he told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday.

"I have a clear message for Iran and for Hezbollah: Israel knows what you're doing. We know a lot more", he continued.

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"It's impossible to know, but if the threat if its real and intelligence is now available and supports it, there is no reason not to publicize it", he said.

"The fact that the term "occupied territory" is absent from an official [US] State Department document is an important step for Israel's foreign relations and the future of the [West Bank] settlements", Hotovely said. The activity of the Hezbollah operatives goes largely unnoticed in Syria due to their ability to assimilate into the local population.

Lindsey Graham visited the Golan with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman to discuss plans toward official US recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the plateau as a crucial, strategic and permanent part of the Jewish state.

With elections approaching in Israel on April 9, some suggested Wednesday's announcement may have had political motivations since it could help burnish Netanyahu's security credentials.

Israel officially annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, though the worldwide community has yet to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the area.

Israel took control over most of the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War, but formally annexed the occupied territory only in 1981.

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