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India votes in favour of UN resolution expressing concern at Israeli occupation of Syrian Golan

The Golan Heights region in southwest Syria was occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War in June 1967. The UN resolution was adopted by 91 members in favour, eight against and 62 abstentions with the US and UK among the countries voting against it.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New York Updated on: November 29, 2023 16:03 IST
The 193-member UN General Assembly.
Image Source : AP/FILE The 193-member UN General Assembly.

India on Tuesday voted in favour of a resolution introduced in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) expressing deep concern over the continued Israeli occupation of Syrian Golan. Notably, the Golan Heights region in southwest Syria was occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War in June 1967.

The resolution titled 'The Syrian Golan' was introduced in the 193-member UNGA on Tuesday and adopted by 91 members in favour, eight against and 62 abstentions. The United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Canada and Australia were among the countries who voted against the resolution.

Apart from India, countries who voted in favour of the resolution included Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The resolution expressed concern that Israel had not withdrawn from the Syrian Golan, contrary to various UN resolutions on the matter.

According to the resolution, Israel failed to comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981), which decided that “the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect". 

In 1981, the Israeli parliament passed a law unilaterally declaring sovereignty over the Golan Heights. It declared the Israeli decision of 1981 as null and void and called on the Jewish state to rescind its decision.

The resolution called for Israel's withdrawal from all the occupied Syrian Golan to pre-1967 borders and determined “that the continued occupation of the Syrian Golan and its de facto annexation constitute a stumbling block in the way of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region". It also expressed hope that peace talks over Syria would resume soon.

Israel won the Six-Day war in 1967, occupying Sinai, the West Bank and Gaza in Palestine and the Golan Heights, in a major expansion of territory under its control. Israel returned Sinai to Egyptian control during a peace treaty in 1979 and relinquished control of Gaza in 2005, a year after which Hamas took over the territory.

(with inputs from PTI)

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