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Power shuffle in Syria may result in drought in Israel

Published time: April 09, 2012 18:08
Edited time: April 09, 2012 22:30

sraeli soldiers wait near an outpost at the Syrian-Israeli ceasefire close to the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights March 30, 2012 (Reuters/Nir Elias)

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Israel is closely watching the unrest in Syria. There are fears that a power change in Damascus could lead to a conflict over the strategically vital territories of Golan Heights - a crucial source of water for Israel.

The Golan Heights stretch between the borders of Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, and the only freshwater lake in Israel adjoins this territory. It provides about thirty per cent of the country’s water. Water is pumped to the south and the center of the country, where it’s used for agriculture and domestic purposes.

“If the water becomes polluted, if they start pumping water away, who knows? There are a number of issues in this scenario. And it’s totally unacceptable because it would totally change the whole landscape of the state of Israel, including the Golan,” Marla Van Metter from Golan Residents’ Committee told RT.

Ever since Israel occupied the Golan Heights over forty years ago, Damascus has been eager to get it back. In 1991 Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad demanded that Israel withdraw to the shores of the Sea of Galilee. However, rounds of talks have led to nothing.

If power in Syria changes hands, many fear that the new authorities might abandon negotiations and resort to more decisive actions.

For more details watch Paula Slier’s report above.