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Report: Israel

Amnesty International condemns Barak’s rejection of Syrian refugees

Reuters/Umit Bektas

The international human rights group Amnesty International has condemned the Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak’s statements that Israel will act to prevent a “flood” of refugees into the Golan Heights.

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Amnesty International Dublin contacted Barak to say that his comments were alarming in light of the recent escalation in violence across Syria, particularly in Damascus.

They urged Israel to afford protection to refugees entering the occupied Golan Heights and to prevent their forced return.

Dossier: Gaza 2009

Barak’s comments came during a visit to the area where he stated that it was possible to view the shelling of towns approaching the “dead zone” between the occupied Golan Heights and official Syrian territory.

He claimed that Israel will reject “waves” of refugees on the basis that such a presence in the Golan could be used to launch an attack on Israel.

Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six Day War, in a move that has never been recognised internationally.

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