Golan Heights: Trump signs order recognising occupied area as Israeli

BBC News | 3/26/2019 | Staff
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US President Donald Trump has officially recognised Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967, in a move hailed as "historic justice" by the country's prime minister.

Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces an election next month, was by Mr Trump's side as he signed the proclamation.

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Syria said Mr Trump's decision was "a blatant attack on its sovereignty".

Israel annexed the Golan in 1981 in a move not recognised internationally.

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For decades, Washington took the same line, but last week Mr Trump announced his plan to overturn decades of US policy in a tweet.

Why are the Golan Heights so important?

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In response, Syria has vowed to recover the area "through all available means".

But Mr Netanyahu told reporters gathered in Washington on Monday that Israel "shall never give it up".

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"Your proclamation comes at a time when Golan is more important than ever for our security," he said, citing threats from Iranian forces in Syria.

It is, he added, "a two-fold act of historic justice".

Israel - Golan - Heights - War - Self-defence

"Israel won the Golan Heights in a just war of self-defence and the Jewish people's roots in the Golan go back thousands of years," Mr Netanyahu said.

However, there is little sign any other countries will be following in US footsteps, which a Syrian foreign ministry source described as a "humiliating blow to the international community", according to the state-run news agency SANA.

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A spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was "clear that the status of Golan has not changed".

Russia - which has been providing military support to President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian conflict - warned the decree "could drive a new wave of tensions in the Middle East region".

Turkey - Opposition

Meanwhile, Turkey - which has been supporting the Syrian opposition - said it was "impossible"...
(Excerpt) Read more at: BBC News
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