Nasrallah urges 'resistance' after US Golan recognition

Hezbollah leader: Only way for Syrians to take back their land is "resistance, resistance and resistance".

Elad Benari,

Hassan Nasrallah
Hassan Nasrallah

Hassan Nasrallah, the head of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, on Tuesday called for "resistance" in response to the United States’ recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, AFP reports.

The comments came after US President Donald Trump on Monday officially recognized Israeli sovereignty over the region, which Israel liberated from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War and then annexed in 1981 in a move not recognized by the international community.

Hezbollah is a key backer of the regime in Syria, where its fighters have helped President Bashar Al-Assad in his fight against rebels and jihadists during the eight-year civil war.

In a televised speech on Tuesday, Nasrallah said the only option left to Syrians to take back their land -- and for Palestinian Arabs to achieve their "legitimate rights" -- was "resistance, resistance, and resistance".

He described Trump's move as "a crucial turning point in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict".

Trump's decision "deals a knockout punch to what is called the peace process in the region, which is built on (the concept of) land in exchange for peace," said Nasrallah, according to AFP.

He called on the Arab League, which has suspended Syria's membership over the bloody repression of protests leading to the war, to take action at a summit at the end of the month in Tunis.

The 21-member bloc should "call for the withdrawal of the Arab peace initiative... from the table" of negotiations on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, he said.

The initiative, unveiled in 2002 in Beirut and re-endorsed at the 2007 Arab League summit, stipulates that 22 Arab countries will normalize ties with Israel in return for an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.

Israel to date has rejected the 2002 Saudi proposal due to the fact that it calls for Israel to accept the so-called "right of return" for millions of descendants of Arabs who fled pre-state Israel, effectively bringing an end to the Jewish state.

Trump's Golan decision sparked condemnation from the Arab League, as well as from several regional states.

The Lebanese foreign ministry said on Monday that Trump’s decision violates international law and undermines the prospects for peace.

"The Golan Heights are Syrian Arab land, no decision can change this, and no country can revisit history by transferring ownership of land from one country to another," it said.

Syria, meanwhile, accused Trump of “blatantly attacking” its sovereignty with the decision.

"Trump does not have the right and the legal authority to legitimize the occupation," said a foreign ministry source.

Last week, Damascus vowed to recover the Golan Heights in the wake of Trump’s declaration, saying the Golan would remain “Syrian, Arab” and adding that Trump had shown contempt for international law.