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United States Criticized at UN for Recognizing Israel’s Sovereignty Over Golan

NEW YORK – The United States has been sharply criticized by 14 other UN Security Council members for their decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights in violation of international law, Aljazeera reported Thursday.
The Security Council met on Wednesday at the request of Syria, which in a letter to the council called on the United States to present a “flagrant violation” of UN resolutions.
President Donald Trump on Monday signed a proclamation in which the United States recognized Israel’s annexation of the strategic plateau seized in 1967 and annexed in 1981.
At Council meetings, one after the other, the President supported Syria’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and opposed Israel’s annexation after Trump’s proclamation.
“This unilateral action does nothing to help find a long-term peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict,” said South Africa’s ambassador to the United Nations, Jerry Matjila.
Syria’s closest ally, Russia, has urged governments to continue to view the Golan Heights as a territory occupied by Israel.
“If anyone feels tempted to follow this poor example, we urge them to refrain from this aggressive revision of international law,” said Russian Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov.
France has warned that any attempt to violate international law is “doomed to fail,” as the United States prepares to unveil their peace proposals in the Middle East.
Three Security Council resolutions call on Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights, which it seized from Syria during the Six Day War of 1967 and annexed – an unacknowledged international initiative.
The United States defended its decision, arguing that this recognition strengthened Israel’s security and could contribute to the stability of the entire Middle East by controlling Syria and its Iranian ally.
Authorizing the Golan to be controlled by Syria would “close the eyes on threats emanating” from Damascus, Iran and its Hezbollah allies, who want to use that territory to attack Israel, said US diplomat Rodney Hunter.
In the meantime, China recalled that UN resolutions had declared the Golan as an Israeli-occupied territory. Deputy Ambassador Wu Haitao said: “China opposes any unilateral action to change this fact”.
Trump’s proclamation that the Golan Heights was part of Israel raised questions about the future of a UN peacekeeping force after the expiry of his term on June 30.
The 1,000-strong United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was sent to a buffer zone between Golan and Israel in the Golan in 1974 to monitor the ceasefire.
Hunter told the council that the UN force had “a vital role to play in preserving stability between Israel and Syria” – an assurance that the Trump government’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty on the strategic plateau will not affect its operation.
He also criticized “the daily presence of Syrian armed forces” in the area of separation, where UN troops are the only authorized military force, calling it a violation of the 1974 ceasefire.
The United States called on Russia to use its influence with President Assad “to force Syrian forces to respect their commitment” to respect the ceasefire “and to withdraw immediately from the zone of separation”, Hunter said.
UN Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo expressed hope that “recent developments will not serve as a pretext for anyone to pursue actions that could harm the relative stability of the situation in the Golan Heights and beyond”
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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