Posted by: Lister | September 28, 2008

Arina Safadi

Residents of the Golan heights who marry Syrians, must leave and never return. AFP:

Arina Safadi, wearing a sumptuous white wedding dress, walked past barbed wire in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights so she could join her future husband on the Syrian side.

[…] Just before she reached the Quneitra border post, Safadi had one last heart-wrenching task to perform — signing a document in which she pledged to relinquish her right to residency in the Israeli-annexed area.

“I give up my right of residence and I know that I may not return because of the absence of diplomatic ties between Israel and Syria,” says the text.

[…] Israel annexed the mostly Druze-inhabited territory in 1981, a move never recognised by the world community.

[…] More than 18,000 Syrians, mostly Druze, an offshoot branch of Islam, are left from the Golan’s original population of 150,000. The vast majority of these Druze have refused to take Israeli citizenship.

The plateau which overlooks much of northern Israel is also home to nearly 20,000 Jewish settlers.

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