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Israeli minister proposes rebuilding Syria in exchange for Golan Open in fullscreen

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Israeli minister proposes rebuilding Syria in exchange for Golan

Galant's Golan plan appears unlikely to find international traction [AFP]

Date of publication: 14 February, 2017

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Yoav Galant, Israel's minister of construction, reportedly unveiled a plan to rebuild Syria in return for sovereignty over the Golan Heights and a curb on Iranian influence in the region.
Israel's minister of construction has reportedly prepared a major strategic plan as part of a resolution to the crisis in Syria.

Yoav Galant's purported plan proposes a major US-led reconstruction programme for Syria costing billions of dollars - in return for international recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, and a negation of Iranian influence in the country.

While the plan presented by Galant was meant to be far-reaching, it seeks above all to stymie the Iranian "danger" apparently solidifying on Israel's north-western border, reports Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli national daily newspaper.

According to the report, the plan was presented to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and was unveiled to the Israeli cabinet on Sunday. 

According to the proposed plan, Galant argues Israel's best interests are served by preventing the consolidation of an Iran-Syria-Lebanon axis and the establishment of a Shia-dominated Damascus.

Galant's supposed plan further suggests the barring of the Iran-Lebanon overland "corridor" through Syria that would allow for arms transfers to Hizballah. International recognition for Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights is also necessary, in Galant's eyes, for a resolution to the Syrian crisis.

According to Galant, the plan would be of advantage to the US, Russia, Europe, as well as the "moderate Sunni world" - the capitals of which would be necessary participants in the plan if it were to succeed. 

Galant stipulates in his proposal that the US would take a special role in rebuilding Syria through "dozens of billions of dollars" of investments. Russia can be made to agree in return for recognition of the centrality of Russian influence in Syria and the region, speculated Galant, a member of the security cabinet and a major-general in the reserve military.

He asserted that the plan must be conditional on Syrian recognition of Israeli sovereignty of the Golan Heights.

Galant's plan further states that the Trump administration could commit to the financial investment in the rebuilding of Syria, if Russia works to prevent Iranian influence developing in the country.

The idea, which would rely on several major geopolitical rivals making significant concessions and spending huge sums - all to favour Israel - appears not yet to have provoked much reaction in any major global capitals.

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