Listening to political debates or reading media coverage about the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, you could be forgiven for not realizing that Israel is also occupying the Syrian Golan Heights.
Late last year, for example, the United Nations Security Council adopted a landmark resolution condemning settlements on Palestinian territory. Days later, then U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry argued that those settlements threaten the peace process and the two-state solution.
Yet the occupation of the Golan Heights – captured by Israel in 1967 – and the establishment of illegal settlements there attracted relatively little attention.
Following the start of this situation in 1967, over 130,000 native Syrian inhabitants were forcibly transferred or displaced. The Israeli military began a widespread campaign to demolish Syrian homes, destroying the city of Quneitra in 1974, as well as 340 villages and farms. These were replaced…
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