Russia’s Revenge? Moscow Says Golan Doesn’t Belong to Israel

Jab at Israeli “occupation” of Golan comes just hours after Jerusalem condemns Russian invasion of Ukraine

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Ukraine, Syria, Russia, Golan Heights
After years of relative silence, Russia is suddenly speaking out against Israel's "occupation" of the Golan Heights.
After years of relative silence, Russia is suddenly speaking out against Israel's "occupation" of the Golan Heights. Photo: Michael Giladi/Flash90

It’s happening – no sooner had Israel cautiously joined the chorus of voices condemning Russia’s aggression in Ukraine than Moscow began making noise regarding Israel’s position vis-a-vis Syria.

For the past month Israel has expressed the need to avoid complicating a delicate relationship with Russia. And Jerusalem’s concerns have now proved well-founded. Just hours after taking a public stand against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Moscow assailed Israel over its “occupation” of the Golan Heights.

For years Russia has turned a blind eye to Israeli airstrikes on Iranian and Syrian military targets in Syria. This despite Russia’s own efforts to prop up the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad amid an ongoing civil war. And Moscow hasn’t until now said a word about the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War.

But that changed early Thursday morning as Israel joined the rest of the Western world in taking Russia to task..

“We’re concerned over Tel Aviv’s announced plans for expanding settlement activity in the occupied Golan Heights, which contradicts the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention. Russia doesn’t recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights that are part of Syria,” said Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s representative to the United Nations.

Will Moscow go even further and oppose Israeli military action against hostile targets in Syria? Time will tell.

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