Trump to sign official declaration recognizing Golan during PM's visit


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He also affirmed that these decisions constitute "flagrant violations of global law and the United Nations' resolutions". Attempts to bring Israel and Syria to the table have failed.

"The Golan Heights will remain Arab and Syrian, regardless of the statements made by the president of the United States about the occupied Israeli Golan", the Syrian regime said, condemning the decision as "irresponsible".

Trump's declaration is the latest USA step to fuel anger in the region, both in states that are hostile to Israel and others that have relations with it and are allied to the United States.

US Senator Lindsey Graham, left, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, and US ambassador to Israel David Friedman, right, on a tour of the Golan Heights, March 11, 2019.

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Incidentally, at the risk of upsetting some readers, it should be noted that of all the territories under Israeli control since the 1967 Six-Day War, the Golan Heights is the only occupied territory and its 1981 de facto annexation was a violation of the Geneva convention.

U.N. Security Council resolution 497, issued after the annexation, refers to Israel's action as "null and void and without global legal effect".

The Golan Heights move was hinted at a week ago when the State Department changed its usual description of the area as "occupied" to "Israeli-controlled".

Israel says Syria's civil war has reaffirmed the need to keep the plateau - coveted for its water resources and fertile soil - as a buffer zone between Israeli towns and the instability of its neighbour.

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Having recovered those areas with Russia's help, Assad and his allies will likely seize on Trump's move to renew its claims to the Golan. While most of the Golan's Druze have chosen not to take Israeli citizenship, they hold Israeli residency status that gives them the right to travel and work freely. Numerous families living in the occupied Golan are separated from family in Syria. Before the war, brides would often cross at the border pass of Quneitra. The annexing of the area has never been recognised by the worldwide community.

He also urged Washington to re-think its foreign policy.

It could embolden other leaders who have seized territory in violation of global norms, such as Russia's action in 2014, when it seized Crimea from Ukraine.

The Middle East has been in the news for quite a while now.

It still remains unclear, whether this move would help Washington's favorite to actually win, as, according to Levy, the Golan heights "are not on the table" right now and the United States gift to Netanyahu "is unlikely to have a major effect".

In his visit to Jerusalem, Pompeo reaffirmed the long-standing USA friendship and support for Israel.

Israel regards Iran as its biggest threat and Hezbollah as the main danger on its borders.

The decision to go ahead with the Golan announcement was spurred in part by an assessment by Trump's aides that his controversial moves on Jerusalem in 2017 and 2018 had provoked less of a severe reaction in the Arab world than many experts had predicted, according to a person familiar with the matter.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo highlighted U.S. concerns about Hezbollah's "destabilizing activities" in Lebanon and the region in talks with Lebanese leaders on Friday, amid strong regional condemnation of President Donald Trump's declaration that it's time the U.S. recognized Israel's sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

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Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, Ardern said the 28-year-old gunman would face the full force of the law, but anonymously. Some of the victims may be repatriated overseas by their relatives. "They're testing our patience right now", Safi said.

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