"The Golan is an inseparable part of Syria," protested some 1,000 Syrians and 500 Druze on either side of the border on Wednesday, marking 25 years since the Golan Heights were annexed to Israel.
The demonstration took place at the Shouting Hill, near the Israel-controlled Druze village of Majdal Shams, where divided families go to contact each other.
The ceremony kicked off with a moment of silence and the Syrian national anthem was then sounded through a megaphone from across the border.
Shouting Hill (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
"We all have family there, and we know the problem can be solved peacefully and the Golan returned to its owners, but if peace does not work, unfortunately we will have to take the path of war," said Jamil Badhish, a Druze resident of the area.
Marking the annexation, schools and businesses in Druze villages in the north went on strike. People of all ages gathered in Majdal Shams, praising Syria
and its leaders, and declaring their loyalty to their country.
Druze from other areas of Israel also showed to identify with the struggle.
Assad senior, junior, and the supporters (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
Since the annexation, the Syrian government, through its supporters in the Golan Heights, has held a struggle against the Israeli naturalization of its residents in the area.
Religious clerics have been leading the struggle, calling on the boycott of anyone choosing Israeli citizenship, and have forbidden marriage, business, or any other kind of relationship with them.
This boycott has prompted many of these Druze to turn to Israeli-Arab MKs for aid in renouncing their citizenship.
Protestors refused to comment on the report, first published on Ynet Tuesday,
that Syrian guerilla organization, Resistance Committees for the Liberation of the Golan Heights, announced it was holding missing Israeli soldier Guy Hever.
Protestors stated, however, that "any organization fighting one way or another to get the Golan back is legitimate, on the way to the awaited reunion with family members."
In the announcement, the organization praised the residents of the Golan Heights, saying, "You continue to defend the pure Golan land the Golan's belonging to Syria…Today you mark the anniversary of the general strike during which you announced to the world that you, men and women, reject all the Zionists' schemes on the Golan and have paid the price with dozens of martyrs, hundreds of prisoners, and daily suffering."
The announcement also addressed "the Zionists," and offered a prisoner-swap dear for the soldier they claimed to be holding.
Ali Waked contributed to this report