Trump Formally Recognises Israel’s Sovereignty Over Golan Heights
US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation to formally recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
US President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation to formally recognise Israel's sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights. The decision is a major shift in the American policy that gives Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a political boost a month before what is expected to be a close election.
The decision comes after 52 years of Israeli control of the region.
Netanyahu says his country holds the “high ground and shall never give it up.”
“In the long sweep of Jewish history, there have been a handful of proclamations by non-Jewish leaders on behalf of our people in our lands... Mr President, you’ve done it not once but twice, with your bold proclamation on Jerusalem and with your bold proclamation today on the Golan. Your participation comes at a time when the Golan is more important than ever for our security. When Iran is trying to establish bases in Syria to strike at Israel.”Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
What Are the Golan Heights?
The Golan height is a 1,800 sq km rocky plateau in south-western Syria that was seized by Israel in 1967 and annexed in 1981, but the international community never recognised the move.
The elevated land is of strategic significance to both the countries, allowing a vantage point into southern Syria, northern Israel and southern Lebanon.
When Syria controlled the Golan heights, it regularly shelled northern Israel; now, Israel uses it to monitor Syrian movements.
UN Security Council resolution 497, issued after the annexation, refers to Israel as "the occupying power" and says Israel's attempt to "impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect."
World Leaders Condemn the Move
World leaders are condemning Trump’s announcement as the United Nations still considers the Golan Heights as part of Syria. It had earlier passed UN Resolution 242, calling on Israel to withdraw from all territories that it occupied in the 1967 war, including the Golan Heights, Gaza and the West Bank. However, Israel has refused to do so.
“President Trump’s statement reaffirms the United States’ blind bias towards the Israeli occupation and its unlimited support for its aggressive behaviour. It clearly reflects the contempt of the United States for international legitimacy and its flagrant violation of its resolutions, particularly Security Council resolution 497 of 1981.”Bashar Ja’afari, Syrian Ambassador to UN
Elections in Israel will be held in April 2019.
(With inputs from AP)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.