INTRODUCTION: Israeli settlers throughout the occupied Golan Heights have been celebrating Israel's decision to annexe the territory.The Knesset vote administration will be imposed over the Heights, captured from Syria in 1967.Syria, and other Arab states, have been angered by the move and some in Israel, as well as the country's chief ally, the United States, have expressed misgivings.
JERUSALEM AND THE GOLAN HEIGHTS (VISNEWS - ELI FASTMAN AND TEWFIC GHAZAWI) *PART QUALITY AS INCOMING*
GV ZOOM IN TO SV Prime Minister Menachem Begin being wheeled into Knesset
SV PAN Representatives in Knesset
SV Speaker of House asking for vote
CU PULL BACK Begin voting and votes being counted by teller (2 shots)
GV PAN Golan Heights
GV New Israeli settlement Katzrin
CU PULL BACK "Welcome to Katzrin sign
GV INTERIOR Settler's family watching vote on Israeli television
CU Begin speaking in debate on television
SV PAN Settlers drinking toast
SV One of settlers giving his reaction to annexation
SV & GV Settlers celebrating, singing and dancing (2 shots)
CU Former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban speaking
SV Kuneitra welcomes you sign
GV Kuneitra settlement
GV Church PULL BACK TO town square on Syrian side of Heights
GV Building under construction
SV United Nations checkpoint and road block (2 shots)
SPEECH (TRANSCRIPT) SETTLER: "I'm for the Golan (indistinct) now because of the bad situation in Lebanon. And because statements that Assad told yesterday and because difficult situation in Camp David."
SPEECH (TRANSCRIPT) EBAN: "My colleagues and I believe that we are afraid to develop our security, and to develop our interests there, without closing the door on the political future of the Golan Heights. And we believe that the political future of the area be left for a future compromise in a peace treaty."
Background: INTRODUCTION: Israeli settlers throughout the occupied Golan Heights have been celebrating Israel's decision to annexe the territory.The Knesset vote administration will be imposed over the Heights, captured from Syria in 1967.Syria, and other Arab states, have been angered by the move and some in Israel, as well as the country's chief ally, the United States, have expressed misgivings.
SYNOPSIS: Prime Minister Menachem Begin, brought into the Knesset in a wheelchair after his recent hip operation, approved the annexation plan at a specially convened cabinet meeting on Monday (14 December) morning.The bill was hurried through its three readings in the Israeli Parliament.
The three-paragraph law was then put to the vote and was passed 63 to 21.Prime Minister Begin said, in the debate, that his government had given up hope of an imminent peace with Syria.
The Golan Heights, which tower over Israeli towns in Galileo, were Syrian territory until their capture by Israeli troops in the 1967 Middle East war.
Since then Israeli settlements, like this one at Katzrin, have sprung up with over 6,000 new residents.The settlers watched the Knesset vote on television and were impressed by the Prime Minister's arguments that growing extremism in Damascus necessitated annexation for security reasons.The decision to proceed was greeted with jubilation by the settlers, one of them described why.
The Israeli settlers celebrated long into the night.However, the annexation was less well received elsewhere.Israel's closest ally, the United States expressed regret at the move.Arab countries were more scathing in their condemnation.Former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban voiced the doubts of the country's Labour Party.
Kuneitra is another new Israeli settlement in the Heights, one of almost 30 built, or being completed in the area.
On the Syrian side of the strategically vital mountain region the annexation was seen as a resumption of war by Israel, and an end to the seven-year ceasefire between the countries.
In that time a United Nations force has kept an uneasy peace between the Israeli settlers and the Syrian forces.Their task may have made all the more difficult by the annexation.
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