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Israel calls to keep Assad in power in Syria

The border between Israeli occupied Golan Heights and Syria [Eviatar Bach/Wikipedia]
The border between Israeli occupied Golan Heights and Syria [Eviatar Bach/Wikipedia]

A leading Israeli research centre has called on decision-makers in Tel Aviv to step up efforts to ensure Bashar Al-Assad remains president of Syria and thus allowing Israel to maintain control of the occupied Golan Heights.

The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University urged decision-makers to:

do everything to ensure not only that Bashar Al-Assad remains as president of Syria, but also to make sure that his position there is fundamentally strengthened.

In the study, the centre considers that strengthening Bashar Al-Assad's position in Syria is "a vital and strategic interest for Israel of the highest priority".

According to the study prepared by the Oriental Studies specialist Edy Cohen, despite the Assad regime's relationship with Iran and Hezbollah, Al-Assad is viewed as "a guarantee to prevent Syria's transformation into a scene of chaos that will negatively affect Israel".

Read: Former ICC official says Israel will be convicted of war crimes

The study warned against allowing an elected president rule Syria for fear that he might raise the Golan Heights issue in the future and "demand Israel to leave the area".

The study recalls that the Syrian-Palestinian border witnessed its most peaceful times under the Al-Assad family's rule, noting that Al-Assad, both father and son, "deserved to have the expression 'a lion in Lebanon and a rabbit in Golan' applied to them".

Under the rule of the Assad family, the study explained, Syria did not "even once ignite any security or military incident against Israel since the end of the war of 1973".

The study also pointed out that the Syrian army leadership, under the orders of Hafez Al-Assad and his son Bashar, worked on "punishing every Syrian soldier who provoked Israeli soldiers patrolling the border".

Although the Assad family regime supported Hezbollah and was associated with Hamas at one point, "it avoided any direct friction with Israel", the study went on, this calm "granted by Al-Assad to Israel enabled it to intensify settlement activities in Golan, absorb thousands of Jewish immigrants and construct tourist facilities."

Israel needs powerful leaders in power in surrounding Arab countries who are able to prevent the execution of any attacks on Israel or any breaches of its borders.

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