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Trump Proclaims Golan Heights Belongs to Israel

Trump Proclaims Golan Heights Belongs to Israel

Monday, 25 March, 2019 - 17:45
FILE PHOTO: Israeli soldiers stand on tanks near the Israeli side of the border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Israel May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
US President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, making the declaration on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side.

The document reverses more than a half-century of US policy as Netanyahu visited the White House.

Trump had previewed the move in a tweet last week that it was time for the US to take the step after 52 years of Israeli control of the strategic highlands on the border with Syria.

Netanyahu has pressed for such recognition for months. Trump's action gives him a political boost just weeks before what's expected to be a close Israeli election.

"Your decision to recognize Israel's sovereignty on the Golan Heights is so historic," Netanyahu told the US president.

Israel captured the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war but its sovereignty over the territory is not recognized by the international community.

The Arab League rejected Trump’s move and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made it clear that the status of Golan has not changed.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the world body’s policy on Golan is reflected in the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and that policy "has not changed.”

A UN Security Council resolution adopted unanimously by the 15-member body in 1981 declared that Israel's "decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect." It also demanded Israel rescind its decision.

The Syrian regime was outraged by Trump's move on Monday. The Foreign Ministry called the decision a "blatant aggression" on Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The US move represents the "highest level of contempt for international legitimacy,” it said.

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