Syria: Referendum legislation makes mockery of int'l law

"International community considers east J'lem, Golan Heights to be occupied territories," Syrian Foreign Ministry says.

November 23, 2010 17:45
1 minute read.
Syria: Referendum legislation makes mockery of int'l law

Golan. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday condemned the Knesset's decision to approve the National Referendum Law which will require either a Knesset super-majority or a national referendum in order to hand over any annexed territories as part of a future peace deal.

"The Knesset's decision to pass the bill makes a mockery of international law. The international community considers east Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights to be occupied territories," a Syrian Foreign Ministry announcement read.

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The statement also said that the law is designed for "those that still under the illusion that the Israeli government is interested in peace."

Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat on Monday slammed the Knesset's decision and reiterated the sentiments put forward by Syria and said that "with the passage of this bill, the Israeli leadership, yet again, is making a mockery of international law.

"Ending the occupation of our land is not and cannot be dependent on any sort of referendum." said Erekat.

Balad MK Jamal Zahalka described the law as, "an Israeli invention which is unprecedented in world history." Zahalka asserted, "the Knesset has no right to decide the future of Jerusalem or the Golan Heights," adding that it is, "not an Israeli internal affair. He said that the legislation was a "clear message that Israel does not want to reach a settlement or peace," Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported on Tuesday.

The Knesset passed the National Referendum Law during a late-night session Monday, approving legislation that will fundamentally alter Israeli negotiators’ ability to offer concrete peace deals involving the Golan Heights or east Jerusalem. The law passed by a vote of 65-33.

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