Archive for the ‘Golan Heights’ Category

Why Israel’s Quietest Border Could Face a ‘Massive Eruption’ – CBN News

GOLAN HEIGHTS, Israel On the last two days of the Six-Day War, attention shifted away from Jerusalem. About 120 miles away, Israeli troops took control of the Golan Heights. Over the past few decades, that border has been Israel’s quietest, but that could soon change.

This scenic area is known in the Bible as Bashan, part of the tribe of Menashe.

For decades Syria controlled the Golan Heights. Here on the high ground overlooking the Sea of Galilee, Syrian artillery and snipers shot and shelled the Israelis below. Children grew up running to bomb shelters and residents lived under the constant threat of attack.

Overlooking the Sea of Galilee, Middle East expert and author of Inside the Middle East Avi Melamed explained why it’s so important to understand what happened in the Golan during the Six-Day War.

“Whoever sits on the Golan Heights totally dominates this whole region and that is exactly the situation that used to be here prior to 1967 when Syria used to be located right here,” Melamed began. “So, all along the line of this cliff were Syrian bunkers and military posts and cannons and artilleries. The communities beneath the Golan Heights were at the total mercy of the Syrians.”

CBN’s “In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem” about the Six-Day War is returning to theaters after debuting at #3 at the box office with sold-out theaters in the U.S. Get your tickets here for the June 1 showing.

Asked how people lived like that, he responded, “Well, you basically have two options: either you’re leaving or you’re staying.”

He continued. “Now, you have to remember, the Sea of Galilee is the biggest freshwater body in Israel, providing something like 25 to 30 percent of the water consumption or the fresh water consumption in Israel. In 1948 [and] until 1967 what happened was that the Syrians occupied some strategic areas. One is the area where the Jordan River feeds from the north and enters the Sea of Galilee. The other area was the strip that you see right beneath us actually rubbing shoulders with the water.

“The major result of that was an enormously increasing pressure on Israel mostly in the context of the water and use of water,” Melamed said.

But all that changed when Israel, against all odds, captured the strategic plateau.

Just one month after the war, Yehuda Harel and his family were among the first Israelis who moved to the Golan Heights.

“We were afraid that Syria will come back and again they will shell the valley and try to take the water, to take the Jordan,” Harel recalled. “We decide[d] to make the first kibbutz in the Golan Heights to convince the government we’ll stay here.

“We got the permission from the army to get inside the Golan Heights because it was a military area. And we got a job from them to collect cows that were wild in the area,” he continued. They wound up living in what had been the living quarters for Syrian Army officers.

“We are very near to Qunietra [on the Syrian-Israeli border]. I mean about a hundred meters from Qunietra. And we are near to the quarter; we used to live here for almost five years. This is the house that we, with another three families, lived in this house,” Harel said.

Today, 25,500 Israelis and 22,000 Druze live on the Golan Heights, now known for its apple and cherry orchards and for the vineyards that produce award-winning Israeli wines.

“In the last more than 40 years, the Golan Heights is the most quiet area of Israel,” Harel said. “Everything happen[s] in the other side of the border.”

But Melamed explained that could be changing.

“Actually, what we see right now in Syria is a huge stage of a huge regional power struggle, roughly speaking between two major forces. One, are the Iranians and their backed militias on the one hand and the other are the Arab Sunnis, including of course the Syrians,” he said. “The majority of the Syrians are Sunnis. So the war in Syria is way beyond a civil war. You have a Russian presence military presence in Syria.”

Asked if he sees any similarities between pre-1967 conditions and now, Melamed said the threat is “more severe.”

“I would say that the strategic threat, as far as Israel is concerned, is today much more severe in comparison to the pre-1967. The major reason for that is that the presence of Iranians and Iranian-backed Shiite militias [are] a stone’s throw away from the Israeli-Syrian ceasefire line.”

Melamed said Iran wants to establish a new front in the Golan that’s similar to those established in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

“Trying to launch a military front against Israel in the Golan Heights will could result in a massive eruption because Israel would not stand for that and rightly so,” he said.

In the meantime, Harel says there’s a reason why this area has remained quiet.

“We live here in peace and it’s a peace because we are on the Golan Heights,” he said. “When we were only in the valley and the enemy was up on the hill, it was not peace. To live in peace, we have to be strong and to live in the higher place.”

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Why Israel’s Quietest Border Could Face a ‘Massive Eruption’ – CBN News

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May 26, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Golan Heights Critical to Maintaining Peace – CBN News

GOLAN HEIGHTS, Israel On the last two days of the Six-Day War, attention shifted away from Jerusalem. About 120 miles away, Israeli troops took control of the Golan Heights. Over the past few decades, that border has been Israel’s quietist, but that could soon change.

This scenic area is known in the Bible as Bashan, part of the tribe of Menashe.

For decades Syria controlled the Golan Heights. Here on the high ground overlooking the Sea of Galilee, Syrian artillery and snipers shot and shelled the Israeli’s below. Children grew up running to bomb shelters and residents lived under the constant threat of attack.

Overlooking the Sea of Galilee, Middle East expert and author of Inside the Middle East Avi Melamed explained why it’s so important to understand what happened in the Golan during the Six-Day War.

“Whoever sits on the Golan Heights totally dominates this whole region and that is exactly the situation that used to be here prior to 1967 when Syria used to be located right here,” Melamed began. “So, all along the line of this cliff were Syrian bunkers and military posts and cannons and artilleries. The communities beneath the Golan Heights were at the total mercy of the Syrians.”

Asked how people lived like that, he responded, “Well, you basically have two options: either you’re leaving or you’re staying.”

He continued. “Now, you have to remember, the Sea of Galilee is the biggest fresh water body in Israel, providing something like 25 to 30 percent of the water consumption or the fresh water consumption in Israel. In 1948 [and] until 1967 what happened was that the Syrians occupied some strategic areas. One is the area where the Jordan River feeds from the north and enters the Sea of Galilee. The other area was the strip that you see right beneath us actually rubbing shoulders with the water.

“The major result of that was an enormously increasing pressure on Israel mostly in the context of the water and use of water,” Melamed said.

But all that changed when Israel, against all odds, captured the strategic plateau.

Just one month after the war, Yehuda Harel and his family were among the first Israelis who moved to the Golan Heights.

“We were afraid that Syria will come back and again they will shell the valley and try to take the water, to take the Jordan,” Harel recalled. “We decide[d] to make the first kibbutz in the Golan Heights to convince the government we’ll stay here.

“We got the permission from the army to get inside the Golan Heights because it was a military area. And we got a job from them to collect cows that were wild in the area,” he continued. They wound up living in what had been the living quarters for Syrian Army officers.

“We are very near to Qunietra [on the Syrian-Israeli border]. I mean about a hundred meters from Qunietra. And we are near to the quarter; we used to live here for almost five years. This is the house that we, with another three families, lived in this house,” Harel said.

Today, 25,500 Israelis and 22,000 Druze live on the Golan Heights, now known for its apple and cherry orchards and for the vineyards that produce award-winning Israeli wines.

“In the last more than 40 years, the Golan Heights is the most quiet area of Israel,” Harel said. “Everything happen[s] in the other side of the border.”

But Melamed explained that could be changing.

“Actually, what we see right now in Syria is a huge stage of a huge regional power struggle, roughly speaking between two major forces. One, are the Iranians and their backed militias on the one hand and the other are the Arab Sunnis, including of course the Syrians,” he said. “The majority of the Syrians are Sunnis. So the war in Syria is way beyond a civil war. You have a Russian presence military presence in Syria.”

Asked if he sees any similarities between pre-1967 conditions and now, Melamed said the threat is “more severe.”

“I would say that the strategic threat, as far as Israel is concerned, is today much more severe in comparison to the pre-1967. The major reason for that is that the presence of Iranians and Iranian-backed Shiite militias [are] a stone’s throw away from the Israeli-Syrian ceasefire line.”

Melamed said Iran wants to establish a new front in the Golan that’s similar to those established in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

“Trying to launch a military front against Israel in the Golan Heights will could result in a massive eruption because Israel would not stand for that and rightly so,” he said.

In the meantime, Harel says there’s a reason why this area has remained quiet.

“We live here in peace and it’s a peace because we are on the Golan Heights,” he said. “When we were only in the valley and the enemy was up on the hill, it was not peace. To live in peace, we have to be strong and to live in the higher place.”

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Golan Heights Critical to Maintaining Peace – CBN News

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May 25, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Israeli olive products from Golan Heights sold in US Whole Foods Markets – Ynetnews

The natural cosmetics, cleaning and olive oil brand Olea Essence, produced in the Golan Heights, recently reached the shelves of the American organic supermarket Whole Foods, appearing on the shelves of its 435 markets in the United States.

As part of the cooperation between the parties, it was agreed that in the first stage, the Olea Essence’s natural cleaning products would be sold, and in the second stage, cosmetics and olive oils would also be sold.

Avner Talmon, the brand’s owner, said last week that additional branches of Olea Essence are expected to open this year in Zurich and Japan. They also intend to open more stores in Israel this year.

Olea Essence

A year ago, the first store opened on Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv. This is in addition to the visitor centers in Katzrin and Kibbutz Ein Gev in the North.

The brand’s products are made from Israeli-cultivated olives grown around the Sea of Galilee and the Golan.

Olea Essence boasts that their products are completely natural and manufactured in an environmentally friendly way.

(Translated and edited by J. Herzog)

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Israeli olive products from Golan Heights sold in US Whole Foods Markets – Ynetnews

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May 20, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

White House publishes map of Israel omitting Palestinian territory, Golan Heights – Ma’an News Agency (press release)

Donald Trump speaks at a National Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon in Washington, DC, on May 27, 2014. (AFP/Jewel Samad, File)

While Israel occupied the territories in 1967, Israel extended Israeli law to the Golan Heights, but does not claim sovereignty in the West Bank — though many right-wing Israeli lawmakers continue to advocate the West Bank’s annexation and consider illegal settlements built on Palestinian land part of Israel.

Ynet reported that the right-wing Israeli leader also said that Trump was elected on statements that supported moving the embassy to Jerusalem and should therefore commit to his promises, while she was elected by her constituency to ensure that no Palestinian state is established.

Map of Israel released by White House omitting the West Bank and Golan Heights

Trumps campaign promise of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be seen as the first step to a drastic abdication of longstanding US policy that has largely adhered to international standards on Israel-Palestine, which maintains East Jerusalem as an intricate part of occupied Palestinian territory and the capital of any future Palestinian state, despite Israels de facto annexation of the territory.

The fate of Jerusalem has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Israeli threats regarding the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the “Judaization” of East Jerusalem through settlement construction and mass demolitions of Palestinian homes.

Trump, referring to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, told Abbas that we will get this done. However, the US President has not revealed a thorough understanding of the conflict in the region or of his country’s diplomatic efforts on the issue.

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White House publishes map of Israel omitting Palestinian territory, Golan Heights – Ma’an News Agency (press release)

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Israel map in White House video for Trump trip excludes Golan Heights, West Bank – i24NEWS (press release) (registration)

Map shows pre-1967 Israel, potentially ruffling political feathers

A White House video promoting US President Donald Trump’s first foreign trip shows a map of Israel that excludes the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

The video was posted on the White House’s Facebook page late Thursday.

Text accompanying the video, however, mentions Trump’s planned visit to the West Bank city of Bethlehem in the section on Israel, without implying that it is not part of Israel.

“President Trump will meet the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in Bethlehem and will urge Palestinian leaders to take productive steps toward peace,” reads the text that appears under the header “Israel”.

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said of the map: “I hope this is a matter of ignorance and not policy.”

The Golan Heights and West Bank were among the areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

Trump is expected to arrive in Israel on May 22 as part of his first foreign tour since taking office.

The date coincides with the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem following the 1967 Six Day War, which will be commemorated in Israel beginning the evening of May 23 and the day of May 24.

US-Israel relations hit a bump this week when a senior member of a US delegation preparing for the presidents upcoming visit reportedly snapped that the Western Wall is “not your territory” and is “part of the West Bank” while discussing details of the president’s visit to the Jerusalem holy site with Israeli counterparts.

The remark came in response to an Israeli delegation’s requests that Trump be joined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his visit to the site.

However, Trump told the Israel Hayom newspaper that his plans “could still change” and suggested Netanyahu could still join him.

No sitting US president has ever visited the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism.

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Israel map in White House video for Trump trip excludes Golan Heights, West Bank – i24NEWS (press release) (registration)

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May 19, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

White House video shows Israel without Golan and West Bank – The Times of Israel

A map of Israel on a video the White House produced about US President Donald Trumps upcoming visit shows the country without the West Bank (where Israel does not claim sovereignty) or the Golan Heights (where it has extended Israeli law).

The short clip, which is meant to promote the presidents first trip abroad, highlights five destinations in four countries hes slated to visit: Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy (including the Vatican) and Belgium.

In the video, a map of Israel is shown within the pre-June 1967 ceasefire lines. During that years Six Day War Israel is currently marking the wars 50th anniversary the Jewish state captured East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Sinai, the West Bank and the Golan.

Israel has since returned the Sinai to Egypt, annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan, withdrawn from Gaza, and built large numbers of settlements in the West Bank without extending sovereignty there.

The international community, including all previous US administrations, has never recognized Israeli sovereignty over any of these areas. Many Israelis might nonetheless be surprised to see that the current US administration, which has repeatedly affirmed its unwavering support of and friendship to Israels right-wing government, signaling its adoption of the widespread international position, especially as regards the Golan Heights.

US recognition of Israels extension of its law over the Golan, which Israel captured from Syria, is seen as a key request Jerusalem wants to make of Trump during his visit, Israeli ministers have said.

Yet the White Houses promotional video may anger Palestinians too. While Israel is shown without the West Bank in a map, the text that lists Trumps schedule in each location does not distinguish between the two. Trumps planned meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem is included under the heading Israel, alongside his meetings with Israeli leaders in Jerusalems western half.

Many in the international community do not consider any part of Jerusalem to be part of Israel, arguing that the citys status must be determined through negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Previous US administrations carefully avoided stating that Jerusalem is part of Israel.

In contrast, the clip speaks of Rome & Vatican City as opposed to merely saying Italy.

At the United Nations General Assembly, the Vatican and the State of Palestine have the same status as non-member observer states.

In Jerusalem, President Trump will meet with the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, and lay a wreath at Yad Vashem. He will then deliver remarks at the Israel Museum celebrating the unique history of Israel and of the Jewish people, a text accompanying the clip states.

Later that day, the President will meet with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. They will be joined by First Lady Melania Trump and Mrs. Sara Netanyahu for a private dinner. President Trump will meet the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in Bethlehem and will urge Palestinian leaders to take productive steps toward peace. The President will also visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall.

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White House video shows Israel without Golan and West Bank – The Times of Israel

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Seven nurses serving in Golan Heights: Kalouniwai – Fiji Sun Online

There are seven female nurses serving now in the field at Golan Heights between Syria and Israel.

This was confirmed by the Republic of Fiji Military Force chief of staff, Colonel Ro Jone Kalouniwai, yesterday.

He said the process had been going on for the last three years.

We have a level one plus United Nations hospital at the Golan Heights, Colonel Kalouniwai said.

At the moment, there are a total of seven female nurses that are there who have been deployed and are in the field carrying out their respective duties.

They have been chosen by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

We have been working with the Health ministry in trying to get those nurses who are specialists in the medical field.

These nurses are specialist nurses that work in the surgical theatres and the requirement for them to come in is very critical for RFMF.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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Seven nurses serving in Golan Heights: Kalouniwai – Fiji Sun Online

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May 9, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Israeli Intelligence Minister: Trump Should Recognize Golan Heights … – Breitbart News

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Katz, who made hisremarks at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York, proposed a five-point memorandum between Israel and the U.S. on the Syrian civil war and its impact onthe Jewish states security.

Apart from recognizing the Golan Heights as an indivisible part of Israel,Katz called for both countries to adopt a policy opposing any permanent Iranian military presence in Syria and Lebanon. In addition, Katzs proposal would see further sanctions imposed on Iran if it does not stop supportingterror organizations in the area, such as Hezbollah. Hezbollah itself would also be subject to heavy sanctions according to Katzs plan.

There will not be stability in the region until Iran is pushed back, and weapons transfers are stopped, the minister said.

He condemned the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for its recent anti-Israel resolutions and said Jerusalem should respond by expanding its borders.

We must strengthen our hold in Jerusalem and ensure the Jewish majority there, in the face of all those, including UNESCO, who are trying again and again to question the undeniable historical and religious connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem, Katz said.

One way of achieving this would be annexing Jewish towns in the West Bank includingGush Etzion, Givat Zeev, Maaleh Adumim and Beitar Elit to become a part of a greater Jerusalem.

A united Jerusalem is and will be the eternal capital of the Jewish people, he said.

With regards to the peace process with the Palestinians, Katz proposedfocusing on civilian economic initiatives. His own Transportation Ministry was working on a railroad project that, according to Katz,would benefit Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians and countries that want to trade with them.

Economic development and trade are the strongest path to peace, he said.

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Israeli Intelligence Minister: Trump Should Recognize Golan Heights … – Breitbart News

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May 8, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

‘US must recognize Israeli sovereignty on the Golan’ – Arutz Sheva

Intelligence Minister says US and Israel must develop a joint policy on dealing with Syria and Iran, starting with recognition of the Golan.

Gary Willig, 07/05/17 18:08

Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) called on President Donald Trump to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights at the annual Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in New York Sunday.

“The developments in Syria, including the chemical attack, emphasize the threat posed by the Iranian axis in the region,” Minister Katz said. “In view of this threat, the United States and Israel should reach understanding regarding Syria and the region.”

He said that the understandings should consist of five points, the first of which was “US recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights.”

“The Golan Heights is an indivisible and an integral part of the State of Israel,” he said.

Minister Katz also said that the US and Israel must agree on their joint opposition to the establishment of a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria “in the land, the air, or in the sea,” the strengthening of sanctions against Iran until it ceases its support and fomenting of terrorism in the region and around the world, the use of sanctions to paralyze Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, the Hezbollah terrorist organization, and the prevention of Iran’s achieving of territorial continuity through Syria and Lebanon.

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‘US must recognize Israeli sovereignty on the Golan’ – Arutz Sheva

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May 7, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Why Israel’s Quietest Border Could Face a ‘Massive Eruption’ – CBN News

GOLAN HEIGHTS, Israel On the last two days of the Six-Day War, attention shifted away from Jerusalem. About 120 miles away, Israeli troops took control of the Golan Heights. Over the past few decades, that border has been Israel’s quietest, but that could soon change. This scenic area is known in the Bible as Bashan, part of the tribe of Menashe. For decades Syria controlled the Golan Heights. Here on the high ground overlooking the Sea of Galilee, Syrian artillery and snipers shot and shelled the Israelis below. Children grew up running to bomb shelters and residents lived under the constant threat of attack. Overlooking the Sea of Galilee, Middle East expert and author of Inside the Middle East Avi Melamed explained why it’s so important to understand what happened in the Golan during the Six-Day War. “Whoever sits on the Golan Heights totally dominates this whole region and that is exactly the situation that used to be here prior to 1967 when Syria used to be located right here,” Melamed began. “So, all along the line of this cliff were Syrian bunkers and military posts and cannons and artilleries. The communities beneath the Golan Heights were at the total mercy of the Syrians.” CBN’s “In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem” about the Six-Day War is returning to theaters after debuting at #3 at the box office with sold-out theaters in the U.S. Get your tickets here for the June 1 showing. Asked how people lived like that, he responded, “Well, you basically have two options: either you’re leaving or you’re staying.” He continued. “Now, you have to remember, the Sea of Galilee is the biggest freshwater body in Israel, providing something like 25 to 30 percent of the water consumption or the fresh water consumption in Israel. In 1948 [and] until 1967 what happened was that the Syrians occupied some strategic areas. One is the area where the Jordan River feeds from the north and enters the Sea of Galilee. The other area was the strip that you see right beneath us actually rubbing shoulders with the water. “The major result of that was an enormously increasing pressure on Israel mostly in the context of the water and use of water,” Melamed said. But all that changed when Israel, against all odds, captured the strategic plateau. Just one month after the war, Yehuda Harel and his family were among the first Israelis who moved to the Golan Heights. “We were afraid that Syria will come back and again they will shell the valley and try to take the water, to take the Jordan,” Harel recalled. “We decide[d] to make the first kibbutz in the Golan Heights to convince the government we’ll stay here. “We got the permission from the army to get inside the Golan Heights because it was a military area. And we got a job from them to collect cows that were wild in the area,” he continued. They wound up living in what had been the living quarters for Syrian Army officers. “We are very near to Qunietra [on the Syrian-Israeli border]. I mean about a hundred meters from Qunietra. And we are near to the quarter; we used to live here for almost five years. This is the house that we, with another three families, lived in this house,” Harel said. Today, 25,500 Israelis and 22,000 Druze live on the Golan Heights, now known for its apple and cherry orchards and for the vineyards that produce award-winning Israeli wines. “In the last more than 40 years, the Golan Heights is the most quiet area of Israel,” Harel said. “Everything happen[s] in the other side of the border.” But Melamed explained that could be changing. “Actually, what we see right now in Syria is a huge stage of a huge regional power struggle, roughly speaking between two major forces. One, are the Iranians and their backed militias on the one hand and the other are the Arab Sunnis, including of course the Syrians,” he said. “The majority of the Syrians are Sunnis. So the war in Syria is way beyond a civil war. You have a Russian presence military presence in Syria.” Asked if he sees any similarities between pre-1967 conditions and now, Melamed said the threat is “more severe.” “I would say that the strategic threat, as far as Israel is concerned, is today much more severe in comparison to the pre-1967. The major reason for that is that the presence of Iranians and Iranian-backed Shiite militias [are] a stone’s throw away from the Israeli-Syrian ceasefire line.” Melamed said Iran wants to establish a new front in the Golan that’s similar to those established in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. “Trying to launch a military front against Israel in the Golan Heights will could result in a massive eruption because Israel would not stand for that and rightly so,” he said. In the meantime, Harel says there’s a reason why this area has remained quiet. “We live here in peace and it’s a peace because we are on the Golan Heights,” he said. “When we were only in the valley and the enemy was up on the hill, it was not peace. To live in peace, we have to be strong and to live in the higher place.”

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May 26, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Golan Heights Critical to Maintaining Peace – CBN News

GOLAN HEIGHTS, Israel On the last two days of the Six-Day War, attention shifted away from Jerusalem. About 120 miles away, Israeli troops took control of the Golan Heights. Over the past few decades, that border has been Israel’s quietist, but that could soon change. This scenic area is known in the Bible as Bashan, part of the tribe of Menashe. For decades Syria controlled the Golan Heights. Here on the high ground overlooking the Sea of Galilee, Syrian artillery and snipers shot and shelled the Israeli’s below. Children grew up running to bomb shelters and residents lived under the constant threat of attack. Overlooking the Sea of Galilee, Middle East expert and author of Inside the Middle East Avi Melamed explained why it’s so important to understand what happened in the Golan during the Six-Day War. “Whoever sits on the Golan Heights totally dominates this whole region and that is exactly the situation that used to be here prior to 1967 when Syria used to be located right here,” Melamed began. “So, all along the line of this cliff were Syrian bunkers and military posts and cannons and artilleries. The communities beneath the Golan Heights were at the total mercy of the Syrians.” Asked how people lived like that, he responded, “Well, you basically have two options: either you’re leaving or you’re staying.” He continued. “Now, you have to remember, the Sea of Galilee is the biggest fresh water body in Israel, providing something like 25 to 30 percent of the water consumption or the fresh water consumption in Israel. In 1948 [and] until 1967 what happened was that the Syrians occupied some strategic areas. One is the area where the Jordan River feeds from the north and enters the Sea of Galilee. The other area was the strip that you see right beneath us actually rubbing shoulders with the water. “The major result of that was an enormously increasing pressure on Israel mostly in the context of the water and use of water,” Melamed said. But all that changed when Israel, against all odds, captured the strategic plateau. Just one month after the war, Yehuda Harel and his family were among the first Israelis who moved to the Golan Heights. “We were afraid that Syria will come back and again they will shell the valley and try to take the water, to take the Jordan,” Harel recalled. “We decide[d] to make the first kibbutz in the Golan Heights to convince the government we’ll stay here. “We got the permission from the army to get inside the Golan Heights because it was a military area. And we got a job from them to collect cows that were wild in the area,” he continued. They wound up living in what had been the living quarters for Syrian Army officers. “We are very near to Qunietra [on the Syrian-Israeli border]. I mean about a hundred meters from Qunietra. And we are near to the quarter; we used to live here for almost five years. This is the house that we, with another three families, lived in this house,” Harel said. Today, 25,500 Israelis and 22,000 Druze live on the Golan Heights, now known for its apple and cherry orchards and for the vineyards that produce award-winning Israeli wines. “In the last more than 40 years, the Golan Heights is the most quiet area of Israel,” Harel said. “Everything happen[s] in the other side of the border.” But Melamed explained that could be changing. “Actually, what we see right now in Syria is a huge stage of a huge regional power struggle, roughly speaking between two major forces. One, are the Iranians and their backed militias on the one hand and the other are the Arab Sunnis, including of course the Syrians,” he said. “The majority of the Syrians are Sunnis. So the war in Syria is way beyond a civil war. You have a Russian presence military presence in Syria.” Asked if he sees any similarities between pre-1967 conditions and now, Melamed said the threat is “more severe.” “I would say that the strategic threat, as far as Israel is concerned, is today much more severe in comparison to the pre-1967. The major reason for that is that the presence of Iranians and Iranian-backed Shiite militias [are] a stone’s throw away from the Israeli-Syrian ceasefire line.” Melamed said Iran wants to establish a new front in the Golan that’s similar to those established in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. “Trying to launch a military front against Israel in the Golan Heights will could result in a massive eruption because Israel would not stand for that and rightly so,” he said. In the meantime, Harel says there’s a reason why this area has remained quiet. “We live here in peace and it’s a peace because we are on the Golan Heights,” he said. “When we were only in the valley and the enemy was up on the hill, it was not peace. To live in peace, we have to be strong and to live in the higher place.”

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May 25, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Israeli olive products from Golan Heights sold in US Whole Foods Markets – Ynetnews

The natural cosmetics, cleaning and olive oil brand Olea Essence, produced in the Golan Heights, recently reached the shelves of the American organic supermarket Whole Foods, appearing on the shelves of its 435 markets in the United States. As part of the cooperation between the parties, it was agreed that in the first stage, the Olea Essence’s natural cleaning products would be sold, and in the second stage, cosmetics and olive oils would also be sold. Avner Talmon, the brand’s owner, said last week that additional branches of Olea Essence are expected to open this year in Zurich and Japan. They also intend to open more stores in Israel this year. Olea Essence A year ago, the first store opened on Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv. This is in addition to the visitor centers in Katzrin and Kibbutz Ein Gev in the North. The brand’s products are made from Israeli-cultivated olives grown around the Sea of Galilee and the Golan. Olea Essence boasts that their products are completely natural and manufactured in an environmentally friendly way. (Translated and edited by J. Herzog)

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May 20, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

White House publishes map of Israel omitting Palestinian territory, Golan Heights – Ma’an News Agency (press release)

Donald Trump speaks at a National Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon in Washington, DC, on May 27, 2014. (AFP/Jewel Samad, File) While Israel occupied the territories in 1967, Israel extended Israeli law to the Golan Heights, but does not claim sovereignty in the West Bank — though many right-wing Israeli lawmakers continue to advocate the West Bank’s annexation and consider illegal settlements built on Palestinian land part of Israel. Ynet reported that the right-wing Israeli leader also said that Trump was elected on statements that supported moving the embassy to Jerusalem and should therefore commit to his promises, while she was elected by her constituency to ensure that no Palestinian state is established. Map of Israel released by White House omitting the West Bank and Golan Heights Trumps campaign promise of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be seen as the first step to a drastic abdication of longstanding US policy that has largely adhered to international standards on Israel-Palestine, which maintains East Jerusalem as an intricate part of occupied Palestinian territory and the capital of any future Palestinian state, despite Israels de facto annexation of the territory. The fate of Jerusalem has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Israeli threats regarding the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the “Judaization” of East Jerusalem through settlement construction and mass demolitions of Palestinian homes. Trump, referring to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, told Abbas that we will get this done. However, the US President has not revealed a thorough understanding of the conflict in the region or of his country’s diplomatic efforts on the issue.

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May 20, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Israel map in White House video for Trump trip excludes Golan Heights, West Bank – i24NEWS (press release) (registration)

Map shows pre-1967 Israel, potentially ruffling political feathers A White House video promoting US President Donald Trump’s first foreign trip shows a map of Israel that excludes the West Bank and the Golan Heights. The video was posted on the White House’s Facebook page late Thursday. Text accompanying the video, however, mentions Trump’s planned visit to the West Bank city of Bethlehem in the section on Israel, without implying that it is not part of Israel. “President Trump will meet the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in Bethlehem and will urge Palestinian leaders to take productive steps toward peace,” reads the text that appears under the header “Israel”. Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said of the map: “I hope this is a matter of ignorance and not policy.” The Golan Heights and West Bank were among the areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. Trump is expected to arrive in Israel on May 22 as part of his first foreign tour since taking office. The date coincides with the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem following the 1967 Six Day War, which will be commemorated in Israel beginning the evening of May 23 and the day of May 24. US-Israel relations hit a bump this week when a senior member of a US delegation preparing for the presidents upcoming visit reportedly snapped that the Western Wall is “not your territory” and is “part of the West Bank” while discussing details of the president’s visit to the Jerusalem holy site with Israeli counterparts. The remark came in response to an Israeli delegation’s requests that Trump be joined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his visit to the site. However, Trump told the Israel Hayom newspaper that his plans “could still change” and suggested Netanyahu could still join him. No sitting US president has ever visited the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism.

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May 19, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

White House video shows Israel without Golan and West Bank – The Times of Israel

A map of Israel on a video the White House produced about US President Donald Trumps upcoming visit shows the country without the West Bank (where Israel does not claim sovereignty) or the Golan Heights (where it has extended Israeli law). The short clip, which is meant to promote the presidents first trip abroad, highlights five destinations in four countries hes slated to visit: Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy (including the Vatican) and Belgium. In the video, a map of Israel is shown within the pre-June 1967 ceasefire lines. During that years Six Day War Israel is currently marking the wars 50th anniversary the Jewish state captured East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Sinai, the West Bank and the Golan. Israel has since returned the Sinai to Egypt, annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan, withdrawn from Gaza, and built large numbers of settlements in the West Bank without extending sovereignty there. The international community, including all previous US administrations, has never recognized Israeli sovereignty over any of these areas. Many Israelis might nonetheless be surprised to see that the current US administration, which has repeatedly affirmed its unwavering support of and friendship to Israels right-wing government, signaling its adoption of the widespread international position, especially as regards the Golan Heights. US recognition of Israels extension of its law over the Golan, which Israel captured from Syria, is seen as a key request Jerusalem wants to make of Trump during his visit, Israeli ministers have said. Yet the White Houses promotional video may anger Palestinians too. While Israel is shown without the West Bank in a map, the text that lists Trumps schedule in each location does not distinguish between the two. Trumps planned meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem is included under the heading Israel, alongside his meetings with Israeli leaders in Jerusalems western half. Many in the international community do not consider any part of Jerusalem to be part of Israel, arguing that the citys status must be determined through negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Previous US administrations carefully avoided stating that Jerusalem is part of Israel. In contrast, the clip speaks of Rome & Vatican City as opposed to merely saying Italy. At the United Nations General Assembly, the Vatican and the State of Palestine have the same status as non-member observer states. In Jerusalem, President Trump will meet with the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, and lay a wreath at Yad Vashem. He will then deliver remarks at the Israel Museum celebrating the unique history of Israel and of the Jewish people, a text accompanying the clip states. Later that day, the President will meet with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. They will be joined by First Lady Melania Trump and Mrs. Sara Netanyahu for a private dinner. President Trump will meet the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in Bethlehem and will urge Palestinian leaders to take productive steps toward peace. The President will also visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall.

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May 19, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Seven nurses serving in Golan Heights: Kalouniwai – Fiji Sun Online

There are seven female nurses serving now in the field at Golan Heights between Syria and Israel. This was confirmed by the Republic of Fiji Military Force chief of staff, Colonel Ro Jone Kalouniwai, yesterday. He said the process had been going on for the last three years. We have a level one plus United Nations hospital at the Golan Heights, Colonel Kalouniwai said. At the moment, there are a total of seven female nurses that are there who have been deployed and are in the field carrying out their respective duties. They have been chosen by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. We have been working with the Health ministry in trying to get those nurses who are specialists in the medical field. These nurses are specialist nurses that work in the surgical theatres and the requirement for them to come in is very critical for RFMF. Edited by Rusiate Mataika Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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May 9, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Israeli Intelligence Minister: Trump Should Recognize Golan Heights … – Breitbart News

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER Katz, who made hisremarks at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York, proposed a five-point memorandum between Israel and the U.S. on the Syrian civil war and its impact onthe Jewish states security. Apart from recognizing the Golan Heights as an indivisible part of Israel,Katz called for both countries to adopt a policy opposing any permanent Iranian military presence in Syria and Lebanon. In addition, Katzs proposal would see further sanctions imposed on Iran if it does not stop supportingterror organizations in the area, such as Hezbollah. Hezbollah itself would also be subject to heavy sanctions according to Katzs plan. There will not be stability in the region until Iran is pushed back, and weapons transfers are stopped, the minister said. He condemned the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for its recent anti-Israel resolutions and said Jerusalem should respond by expanding its borders. We must strengthen our hold in Jerusalem and ensure the Jewish majority there, in the face of all those, including UNESCO, who are trying again and again to question the undeniable historical and religious connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem, Katz said. One way of achieving this would be annexing Jewish towns in the West Bank includingGush Etzion, Givat Zeev, Maaleh Adumim and Beitar Elit to become a part of a greater Jerusalem. A united Jerusalem is and will be the eternal capital of the Jewish people, he said. With regards to the peace process with the Palestinians, Katz proposedfocusing on civilian economic initiatives. His own Transportation Ministry was working on a railroad project that, according to Katz,would benefit Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians and countries that want to trade with them. Economic development and trade are the strongest path to peace, he said.

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May 8, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

‘US must recognize Israeli sovereignty on the Golan’ – Arutz Sheva

Intelligence Minister says US and Israel must develop a joint policy on dealing with Syria and Iran, starting with recognition of the Golan. Gary Willig, 07/05/17 18:08 Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) called on President Donald Trump to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights at the annual Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in New York Sunday. “The developments in Syria, including the chemical attack, emphasize the threat posed by the Iranian axis in the region,” Minister Katz said. “In view of this threat, the United States and Israel should reach understanding regarding Syria and the region.” He said that the understandings should consist of five points, the first of which was “US recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights.” “The Golan Heights is an indivisible and an integral part of the State of Israel,” he said. Minister Katz also said that the US and Israel must agree on their joint opposition to the establishment of a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria “in the land, the air, or in the sea,” the strengthening of sanctions against Iran until it ceases its support and fomenting of terrorism in the region and around the world, the use of sanctions to paralyze Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, the Hezbollah terrorist organization, and the prevention of Iran’s achieving of territorial continuity through Syria and Lebanon.

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May 7, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed


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