Monday, October 27, 2014

How Syria Lost the Golan Heights to Israel

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                  
           Syria's Ba'ath Party Leader from 1966 to 1970-Nureddin al-Atassi
                                                    Hafez al Assad, President and PMof Syria 1970-2000 H

Syria dominated the Golan Heights and used it against the Israeli civilian population that lay below in towns and villages.  Tens of thousands of Israeli civilians' lives were threatened and taken.  It was said in those days that children who were born in the valley under the Golan Heights were children of the shelters because so many people had to run for their bomb shelters. "Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and his successors after 1967's 6 Day War offered to withdraw from virtually all of the Golan Heights in exchange for peace with Syria."  Therefore, after peace was never offered to Israel by the Syrians, Prime Minister Begin proposed the law of Israel to it and it passed.  It was Bashar's father, Hafiz al Assad,  who was a power in Syria when the Six Day War started  but Nureddin al-Atassi  was the president and who had shelling going on from the Golan Heights to the Israelis below.
"From 1948-67, when Syria controlled the Golan Heights, it used the area as a military stronghold from which its troops randomly sniped at Israeli civilians in the Huleh Valley below, forcing children living on kibbutzim to sleep in bomb shelters. In addition, many roads in northern Israel could be crossed only after probing by mine-detection vehicles. In late 1966, a youth was blown to pieces by a mine while playing football near the Lebanon border. In some cases, attacks were carried out by Yasir Arafat's Fatah, which Syria allowed to operate from its territory." (1)
Israel gained the Golan Heights in the 6 Day War and occupied it.  Assad was given time by Israel to change his attitude but he refused for 15 years any approaches of every Israeli government.  Then, in the Fez conference, he really let it be known about how he felt about Israel.  "We Arabs must not put forth any peace proposal.  We must be willing to wait a hundred years and more until Israel's military prowess wanes, and then we shall act."

He said the same thing publicly over the radio and in the Arab press.  Abbas said such things while he extending his domination over Lebanon.  At this time the PLO took over the south of the country of Lebanon.
                                            View from Golan Heights; Syria's Water

Begin wasn't afraid of the USA's reaction to taking the Golan for their protection.  Begin remarked that Israel was a sovereign state and Israel had an elected government.  Begin wasn't talking about some whim but about their lives and their future as a nation.  No one on earth had a moral right to dictate to Israel about their lives and their future as a nation.  No one on earth  had a moral right to dictate to Israel what to do after they had waited this long; fully 15 years since the end of the 6 Day War, to negotiate peace with Syria when all they have received is to be rebuffed every time by their rejectionism.  And the Golan law was approved and passed in 1981.  The Golan Heights became a part of Israel.
Of the 6 Day War itself, it had a lot of casualties.  "Between 776 and 983 Israelis were killed and 4,517 were wounded.                                                       

                                          1967:   First time at Western Wall since 1948

15 Israeli soldiers were captured. Arab casualties were far greater. Between 9,800 and 15,000[10] Egyptian soldiers were listed as killed or missing in action. An additional 4,338 Egyptian soldiers were captured.] Jordanian losses are estimated to be 6,000 killed or missing and 533 captured, though Gawrych cites a number of some 700 killed in action with another 2,500 wounded.The Syrians were estimated to have sustained some 1,000 killed in action. 367 Syrians were captured.

Then, Israel was faced with another war brought on by Syria on Yom Kippur 1973.  "On October 6, 1973, during Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, a Syrian armored force of 1,400 tanks backed by more than 1,000 artillery pieces and supporting air power began a coordinated assault along the 36-mile-long Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights in the north of Israel. That attack coincided with a similar onslaught by Egyptian forces along the Suez Canal, suddenly forcing Israel to fight a two-front war."


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