Republicans push recognition of Israeli annexation of Golan

Israeli occupation forces on patrol outside Majdal Shams, a Syrian town in the Golan Heights, in May 2011. (photo: Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)
US officials move to recognize Israel’s annexation of territory ignores international law.

By Maureen Clare Murphy | The Electronic Intifada | Jan 8, 2019

Israel’s occupation has forced native Syrians onto just 5 percent of the land they once owned and ruined virtually all native industries except for some basic agriculture.

As the Senate considers a bipartisan defense of the Israeli government from boycotts, senior Republicans are urging the Trump administration to recognize Israel’s claims of sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.

As recognized by international law, the Golan Heights is Syrian territory captured by Israel in 1967 along with the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, from which Israel eventually withdrew.

After Israel claimed to annex the Golan Heights in 1981, the UN Security Council declared the move “null and void and without international legal effect.”

Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas issued a joint statement on Sunday referring to what Israel says are recently destroyed Hizballah tunnels along the Israel-Lebanon border, as well as Iranian forces in Syria.

“To support Israel’s right to self-defense, Washington should take the long overdue step of affirming Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” the senators state.

The two senators had introduced a resolution to Congress last year making the same demand while emphasizing the purported threat to Israel’s security posed by Iran.

The same day that Cruz and Cotton’s statement was released, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised recognition of his country’s illegal annexation of the Golan with John Bolton, the national security adviser to Donald Trump who holds hardline anti-Iran views.

Bolton was in Israel this week to outline conditions for a withdrawal of US troops from Syria.

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