Former Ambassador: Russia mediates Iran-Israel tensions, brings stability

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Israel and Iran are not interested in a large-scale conflict despite entering a direct armed clash on the Syrian border, as strange as this may appear, according to former US ambassador to Tel Aviv, Daniel Shapiro.

To reduce tensions, they need a mediator whose role can be played by Russia, he claimed.

On his Twitter blog, he gave his commentary about the massive missile strike blamed by Israel on Iranian forces who are deployed in Syria against Israeli positions in the occupied Golan Heights.

“Israel will have to counterattack in response to the Iranian missiles launched against the Golan Heights, but although neither side (supposedly) does not want a conflict of great magnitude, they need help to reduce tensions. There is only one logical candidate – Russia,” the former diplomat claimed on Twitter.

This has been of the biggest border clashes in recent years between Resistance forces and Israel. This occurred in the early hours of Thursday, when Syrian-backed Iranian forces according to the Israeli Defense Force, launched a barrage of missile strikes against the Golan Heights.

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The Golan Heights are part of Syria, but have been under Israeli occupation since the 1967 war. While Israeli forces have been attacked by pro-Syrian forces, these attacks are lawful under internationally recognized norms and the Geneva Convention; it is lawful to engage in armed conflict to remove a foreign occupying force. 

According to the former ambassador, Russia understands the interests of Israel and could count on its help in the current situation to “contain” Iran.

“This [border incident] could open an opportunity for Israel to persuade Russia to introduce serious restrictions against Iran’s military presence in Syria …,” he said.

Although the Golan Heights is the area captured from Syria and occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel illegally annexed this part of Syria 1981. While Syria signed a peace treaty in 1967 which left the matter unresolved, with Israel engaged in a de facto occupation, Syria has never given up its rightful claim on the land. This region includes the western two-thirds of the geological Golan Heights, as well as the Israeli-occupied part of Mount Hermon.

Since the Syrian War began in 2011, the eastern Golan Heights has become the scene of continuous battles between the Syrian Arab Army and terrorist organizations such as the Free Syrian Army, the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Front and ISIS. Numerous documentaries, reports, and even Israeli official media has shown Israeli military medics and specialists assisting and tending to the needs of injured or munitions-short Al-Qaeda type groups.

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