Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. (Photo credit: AFP)
On 8 January, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) condemned maneuvers by the Israeli occupation to entrench itself in the occupied Syrian Golan.
Founded in 1961, the NAM is a group of 120 developing nations that represents their independent interests and development needs, and are not aligned with or against any major powers.
In a media statement, the NAM pointed out that the move to hold a meeting of the Israeli cabinet on occupied territory in the Syrian Golan, and the plan to double the number of Israeli settlers in the territory constitute not only a provocation, but also a violation of international law.
The statement also indicated that the meeting and provocative settlement plan also violate UN resolutions, particularly, the resolution of Security Council no. 497 of 1981.
The NAM also reiterated its endorsement of a resolution by the UN General Assembly (UNGA), declaring that all judicial and administrative decisions taken by the Israeli occupation in the Syrian Golan are null and void.
The resolution, which was unanimously passed by the UNGA on 10 December 2021, called on the Israeli occupation to end both its plans to construct new settlements as well as its attempt to change the demographic composition of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
The NAM also pointed out that the move by the Israel occupation to transfer part of its population to the occupied territory is a violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of an occupying power’s population into territory it occupies.
Article 8 of the International Criminal Court statute also prohibits such conduct and considers it a war crime.
On 26 December 2021, the Israeli cabinet approved a plan to double the number of settlers in the occupied Syrian Golan by 2030.
According to the plan, the occupation will spend more than $300 million to build two completely new settlements and expand two already existing settlements. The money will also be spent on building supporting infrastructure such as roads and water treatment facilities.
Apart from the United States, the international community does not recognize the Israeli claim of sovereignty over the Syrian Golan, which Tel Aviv captured during the 1967 war along with all of Palestine.