Syria condemns ‘provocative’ Pompeo visit to Golan Heights

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks after a security briefing on Mount Bental in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights November 19, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 19 November 2020

Syria condemns ‘provocative’ Pompeo visit to Golan Heights

  • Israel seized the Golan Hights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War
  • Last year, Trump’s administration controversially recognized Israeli sovereignty in the Golan

DAMASCUS: The Syrian government on Thursday condemned what it called a “provocative” visit by Mike Pompeo to the disputed Golan Heights, the first such visit by a US secretary of state.
“Pompeo’s visit is a provocative step before the end of the Trump administration’s term, and a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic,” said a foreign ministry statement, carried by state news agency SANA.
“Syria affirms that such criminal visits encourage (Israel) to continue its dangerous hostile approach.”
Israel seized the Golan Hights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Last year, Trump’s administration controversially recognized Israeli sovereignty in the Golan, and Pompeo on Thursday condemned what he described as calls from “the salons in Europe and in the elite institutions in America” for Israel to return the Golan to Syria.
“Imagine with (Syrian President Bashar) Al-Assad in control of this place, the risk of the harm to the West and to Israel,” Pompeo said.


Palestinian shot, killed after ramming car into Israeli forces, police say

Updated 27 min 8 sec ago

Palestinian shot, killed after ramming car into Israeli forces, police say

  • The Palestinian man was taken to a nearby Israeli hospital after being shot and died of his wounds

JERUSALEM: Israeli security forces fatally shot a Palestinian driver who tried to ram his car into them at a checkpoint on Jerusalem’s outskirts on Wednesday after he raised suspicions by presenting apparently fake identification papers, police said.
The man was taken to a nearby Israeli hospital after being shot and died of his wounds, a hospital spokeswoman said.
There was no immediate comment from Palestinian officials.
“Suspicion arose that the documents presented by the driver were not his and he was apparently trying to impersonate someone else,” a police statement said.
“During the security check, the suspect started speeding, hitting a border policeman who was at the scene. Following this, the policeman and the security personnel fired at the vehicle,” police said in a statement.
The Israeli policeman was lightly injured, police said.
Palestinians carried out a wave of car-rammings in Jerusalem and the West Bank in late 2015 and 2016, but the frequency of such incidents has since ebbed.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down in 2014. The Palestinians want to establish a state in east Jerusalem, the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.