Israel drilling in Golan Heights violates international law

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Israel drilling in Golan Heights violates int. law

26 February 2015
Israel's oil drilling in the south of the occupied Golan Heights is a violation of international law and Syria has the right to compensation, according to Egyptian experts.

"Israel's drilling works contradict international resolutions regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, in particular resolution No. 3175 which recognizes the right of Arab states and people under foreign occupation to have sovereignty over their national resources," said Dr Ahmad Abu Al-Wafa, an international law professor at Cairo University.

Afek Oil and Gas Company, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Genie Energy Ltd., began drilling for oil in the south of the Golan Heights on Feb. 16, according to a company announcement reported by Israel's daily Jerusalem Post. Afek's three year license allows for conventional oil exploration to a maximum of 10 wells in the south of the occupied Golan Heights, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Abu Al-Wafa said Arab countries and people whose territories were occupied by Israel have a right to compensation. Israel's actions to exploit any kind of resources of the occupied Arab lands are illegal according to UN General Assembly decisions after the Arab-Israeli war, he added.

"Israel is taking advantage of Syria's current political situation," said Dr Ramadan Abu El-Ella, an academic from Pharos University in Alexandria.

Ebu El-Ella, who is also the chairman of the popular committee for the defense of Egypt's oil rights, said Arab countries have several rights to compensation because Syria, Egypt and some other Arab countries suffered from Israeli aggression during the 1967 war.

Drilling was planned for mid-January but was delayed several times due to environmental opposition. The Israeli High Court issued an order for the temporary cessation of the Golan Heights drilling operations, to give the state more time to respond to the petition. However, the order was overturned and the petitions were dismissed on Dec. 23.

The Golan Heights, housing Lake Tiberias, is also Israel's main water source and internationally recognized as an area of natural beauty.

The area, once Syrian territory, was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and was annexed in 1981. The move sparked criticism of Israel as the annexation of the Golan Heights into Israeli territory is not internationally recognized.

Following the Six-Day War, the UN Security Council Resolution 242 was adopted to establish principles for setting Israeli borders and withdrawal from territories conquered in 1967, including the Golan Heights.

26 February 2015

http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/180825/israel-drilling-in-golan-height...