Today, Israel shot down a Syrian war plane (video) that was bombing ISIS positions inside Syria. A U.S.-made Patriot missile brought the plane down, killing the pilot. The downed plane was a Sukhoi Russian-made bomber. It strayed 1 mile into what Israeli claimed was its own territory in an alleged incursion lasting possibly one second or less. Israeli news media reports indicated that the overflight by the pilot was an accident.
The exact same result happened in 2014, when Israel shot down another Syrian plane in a similar incident. As I mentioned in the post I wrote about that attack, the Israeli missile actually hit the plane when as it flew over the Syrian Golan, which even Israel recognizes as Syrian.
Bibi Netanyahu announced hypocritically that Israel had a zero tolerance policy against Syria permitting its conflict to “bleed” into Israel. That’s of course ironic, because Israel has “bled” the conflict hundreds of times into Syria with its own attacks. Contrary to most media reports claiming that these attacks have mostly been air assaults on Hezbollah or Iranian weapons convoys, Israel has assassinated a number of Hezbollah, Iranian and even Syrian generals in that country over the past seven years of conflict. It has supplied al-Nusra fighters affiliated with al Qaeda and offered intelligence coordination to these forces.
Though a number of media outlets have refused to take Israel’s bait and acknowledge the territory which the plane overflew was Israeli, many others accepted the military phrasing. But the truth is that the Golan, over which the plane flew, is not Israeli territory. It is disputed land which Israel conquered from Syria in 1967. Though it annexed the territory, no foreign governments recognize the Israeli land grab. THere have been two near successful negotiations between Israel and Syria for the return of the Golan, but Israeli leaders either chickened out or sabotaged the final agreement in both cases.
In short, Israel had no right under international law to down either of these planes. It has no legitimate claim to the Golan and destroying Syrian planes and killing their pilots is impermissible. This is yet another example of Israel inventing its own interpretations and pursuing its interests with a vengeance.