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December 29, 1995 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-12-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

LAND page 28

Thereafter, Syria had control of
El Hama, which gave it access to
waters leading to the Jordan Riv-
er.
When Israeli farmers drained
the Hula Lake, on the Israeli side
of the cease-fire line, the Syrians
believed they were trying to cre-
ate a dry path for a cross-border
attack and fired on them. In re-
sponse, Israel went into the ad-
jacent demilitarized area and
expelled a few thousand Arab vil-
lagers — who were seen as a
"fifth column" of the Syrian at my
— and set up Jewish settlements
there. Through the '50s and '60s,
Syria used the Golan Heights as
a staging area for shelling attacks
on Israeli villages in the Galilee.
Israel retaliated with attacks of
its own against Syrian territory.
In the mid-'60s, the bulk of Pales-
tinian terrorist raids on Galilee
villages came from the Golan
Heights; this was a key precipi-
tant to the 1967 Six Day War,
Shalev noted.

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40

"There were
violations of the
cease-fire on both
sides. There are no
saints in the Middle
East, and that
includes Israel."

After the war began on June
5, Syrian forces on the Heights
attacked Israeli infantry below.
But on July 9, its air force de-
stroyed, Syria joined Egypt in ac-
cepting the UN cease-fire.
- Later that day, however, Is-
raeli soldiers stormed up the
Golan Heights.
In its defense, Israel claimed
that Syria had violated the cease-
fire. But Hebrew University Pro-
fessor Moshe Maoz, one of Israel's
leading experts on Syria, said:
"There were violations of the
cease-fire on both sides. There are
no saints in the Middle East, and
that includes Israel. Israel sim-
ply wanted to occupy the [Golan
Heights], found an excuse and
did it."
Some 100,000 Circassian,
Muslim and Druse residents of
the Golan fled to Syria, Mr. Maoz
said.
A week-and-a-half after the Six
Day War ended, the Israeli na-
tional unity government agreed
to withdraw from the Golan — to
the 1923 international border --
if Syria would demilitarize the
Heights, relinquish any claim to
the waters of the Sea of Galilee
and the Jordan River, and make
peace with Israel.
In response, Syria and the rest
of the Arab world refused to rec-
ognize, negotiate or make peace

with Israel, and Israel's attitude
towards the Golan changed in
kind. Israel demolished dozens
of villages on the Golan, partly to
make room for emerging Jewish
settlements, partly to "erase the
Syrian presence of this kind," said
Mr. Maoz. Four months after it
had offered to relinquish the
Golan for peace, the Israeli gov-
ernment nullified its earlier de-
cision.
On the eve of the Yom Kippur
War in October 1973, Israeli
forces on the Golan could see Syr-
ian troops massing. But in its
complacency, the Israeli military-
intelligence establishment didn't
believe Syria would attack the
Golan. Syria did, and it wasn't
until Israel cleared out a few
thousand Jewish settlers on the
Golan and called up its reserve
troops that it could turn back the
Syrian army.
In the separation of forces
agreement of the following year,
a new demilitarized zone was es-
tablished between the Golan
Heights and Syria, and this one
has not been breached.
The consensus here is that in
the coming negotiations, Syria
will demand that the new border
be drawn where it was on the eve
of the Six Day War — giving it all
the Golan Heights plus access to
the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan
River. Israel, it is believed, will
insist on the 1923 international
border, meaning it would relin-
quish the Golan, but keep Syria
away from its water. El

Ten Killed
In Road Accident

Jerusalem (JTA) — At least 10
people were killed and two in-
jured in a fatal road accident
northwest of Jerusalem.
Police said the crash was one
of the worst in Israel's history.
The accident occurred when a
tractor-trailer swerved out of its
lane — apparently to overtake
the vehicle in front of it — and
crashed into oncoming traffic,
crushing and dragging at least
two cars several dozen yards.
Police identified eight of the
dead as Arab workers from
Nazareth, who were heading in
a van to a building site there.
The other two who died were
in a private car. One of them was
identified as a male resident of
central Israel. The other victim
was not immediately identified.
A day of mourning was de-
clared in Nazareth.
* The truck driver, a 24-year-old
Arab from eastern Jerusalem,
sustained light injuries in the ac-
cident.
An initial inquiry indicated
that the truck driver's negligence
was the cause of the accident. Po-
lice were examining whether he
fell asleep at the wheel or illegally
swerved into the opposite lane.

c--/\

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