Syria has called on the United Nations to exert pressure on Israel to "stop its continued practices and aggressions against Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan who suffer from the Israeli daily flagrant violations", the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported this week.
According to the government mouthpiece, the Syrian Foreign Ministry handed a report on the "suffering of the Syrian people in the Golan" to a UN fact-finding committee that is "probing the Israeli practices affecting the human rights in the occupied Arab territories".
The report, the news agency said, underlined that the "Syrian citizens' conditions are worsening day by day as a result of the Israeli practices which displace them, confiscate their farms and expand the settlements where a tourist village was set up lately".
The report refers to the Druze residents of the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau Israel captured from Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967.
"Israel still buries the poisonous nuclear wastes in the Golan in a flagrant violation of the international legitimacy resolutions…. And the Syrian citizens are still exposed to the explosion of mines planted by Israeli occupation forces and the number of injured people by the explosions reached at 67among them 17 children," the Syrian report said.
'Serious and positive atmosphere'
SANA reported that Syria also called the UN General Assembly to "immediately intervene and take necessary procedures to release the Syrian captives in the Israeli prisons, particularly Beshr al-Makt and Seitan al-Wali, and the Syrian journalist Ata Farhat who was detained without any charge.
Meanwhile, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported Saturday that the third round of indirect talks held between Israeli and Syrian officials in Turkey this week centered, among other things, on a possible Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights and on Damascus' links to Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas.
An Israeli official familiar with the negotiations told the newspaper that the talks were conducted in a "serious and positive atmosphere" despite the disagreements. The sides set the dates for the next three rounds of talks, which are scheduled to take place in July and August.
According to the report, the Syrian representatives rejected Israel's request to hold direct talks without Turkish mediation.