SHAFAQNA | By Leila Yazdani : Donald Trump will on Monday sign a decree recognizing Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights while hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. Before, US President has sent a foreign policy tweet calling for recognition of the contested area as belonging to Israel. So, if the U.S. endorses Israel’s annexation, the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war — the most important principle of the UN charter — will be gone.
Trump tweeted on Thursday “after 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” calling the area important to regional stability.
After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2019
Trump said the territory was “of critical strategic and security importance to the state of Israel and regional stability.
The United States is the only country that has signaled a willingness to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, DW mentioned.
Donald Trump will on Monday sign a decree recognizing Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights while hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, Israel’s acting foreign minister said.
It’s another dramatic shift in US foreign policy, and one that’s fast drawing international condemnation, politics mentioned.
Trump’s decision is Politically motivated
The decision was politically motivated, rather than based on a coherent foreign policy. In other words, Trump has just complicated America’s policy toward the Middle East. But he likely doesn’t care too much, since he just delighted one of his closest allies in the region, Netanyahu, vox told.
Israel has long been pressing Washington to recognize its claim over the 1,200 sq km (460 sq miles) area, arguing it needs the plateau as a high-ground security buffer. Analysts say Trump’s move could help Netanyahu in the midst of a tough reelection battle.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted his thanks to Trump for “boldly” recognizing “Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
He listed Trump’s decisions to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, and finally his recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, which he called “the miracle of Purim.”
The territory’s return has always been a key Syrian demand
The territory’s return has always been a key Syrian national demand, championed by government.
The Syrian government on Friday vowed to recover the Golan Heights, as its allies and enemies alike condemned Trump’s comments.
Damascus said Trump’s statement showed “the blind bias of the United States” towards Israel but would not change “the fact that the Golan was and will always be a Syrian Arab territory”.
The protest rallies were held in Majdal Shams
Dozens of Druze Arabs, some carrying Syrian flags and pictures of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, gathered on the Golan Heights on Saturday to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s support for Israeli sovereignty over the territory, Reuters reported.
The protest rallies were held in Majdal Shams Town in the Israeli-occupied part of the Golan Heights as well as in Quneitra, on the Syrian-controlled side of the territory, The Times of Israel reported on Sunday, Press TV told.
Palestinians fear the acceptance of Israel’s claim to the Golan will act as a stepping stone to US recognition of another territory it captured in the same 1967 war and continues to rule – the occupied West Bank.
Iran, Russia and Turkey condemn US president
Trump provokes global anger by recognizing Israel’s claim to Golan Heights.
Russia, Iran and Turkey condemn US president while Syria vows to recapture territory lost in 1967 war.
Iran said the announcement was “illegal and unacceptable”, and Russia pointed out that a change of the status of the Golan Heights would be a direct violation of UN resolutions.
In a Friday tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif took aim at the U.S., saying that if it believes that “persistently violating int’l law, bullying sovereign nations & milking its clients projects strength. It does not. Its recklessness just displays panic of an empire in decline.”
“This illegal and unacceptable recognition does not change the fact that it belongs to Syria,” an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman was cited as saying by state TV.
The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters the comments “can destabilize the already fragile situation in the Middle East”.
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, warned on Friday that Trump’s “unfortunate” declaration had brought the region “to the brink of a new crisis and new tensions”.
Trump’s comments were completely outside international law
Meanwhile the Arab League said Trump’s comments were “completely outside international law”.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said Trump’s statement would not change “the constant fact”, recognized internationally, that the “Golan Heights are Syrian lands forcefully occupied by Israel”.
The two Arab countries with official diplomatic relations with Israel have also voiced their displeasure at the US president’s statement.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said lasting peace in the region requires Israel to withdraw from all Arab territories it occupies, including the Golan, while Egypt has urged “respect (for) legitimate international resolutions and the United Nations Charter on the unacceptability of land appropriation by force”, Al Jazeera told.
European powers: the potential damage to international order
European powers also warned of the potential damage to international order.
“The European Union, in line with international law, does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, including the Golan Heights and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory,” an EU spokesperson told Reuters.
The French foreign ministry said: “The recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, occupied territory, would be contrary to international law, in particular the obligation for states not to recognise an illegal situation.” Germany’s government condemned what it said were “unilateral steps”.
“If national borders should be changed it must be done through peaceful means between all those involved,” spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said.
The United Nations considers the Israeli-held Golan to be occupied territory, New York Times reported.
Israel regards the Golan as a strategic asset
The mountainous plateau was part of Syria until Israel captured it in the 1967 Middle East war, annexing it in 1981 in a move not recognized internationally.
Israel regards the Golan as a strategic asset because its peaks overlook northern Israeli towns and southwest Syria, where battles from an eight-year civil war have raged in view.
The argument made by Israeli officials is that recognizing Israeli control of the Golan, like recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. But there are other realities, too.
Israel took control over the western two-thirds of the Golan Heights, which was previously part of Syria, during the Six-Day War in 1967. Moves that were condemned by the UN security council and never internationally recognised.
The eastern portion of Golan remained under the control of the Syrian Arab Republic. The western section of the Golan remained occupied by the Israeli army from 1967 until December 14, 1981, when the Israeli government passed the Golan Heights Law, essentially annexing the area.
Despite the fact that Israeli settlements had been built in the area, the move was roundly condemned in the United Nations Security Council when it passed UN Resolution 497 on December 17, 1981, declaring the annexation “null and void and without international legal effect.”
Israel, however, has continued to administer the territory as part of occupied lands, and the Jewish population there has grown with the expansion of Israeli settlements
Trump’s latest declaration, follows his move in December 2017 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – a declaration that also sparked international outcry as the city’s disputed status remains at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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