US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights is a deliberate and clear violation of the United Nations Charter and international law and can only be termed as needless and senseless provocation.
It is bound to have a serious negative impact on the peace process in the Middle East and the security and stability of the region.
The UN Security Council and successive US administrations have always regarded the Golan as occupied territory whose return would be negotiated as part of comprehensive peace deal between Israel and Syria. Trump is attempting to erase years of such international consensus with one stroke. It’s just not acceptable.
The Trump administration has been initiating steps that are unabashedly biased in favour of Israel. The halting of funds to the UNRWA, recognising occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, relocating US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem, refusing to restrain Israel from illegally expanding settlements are just a few among such moves.
It is not surprising, hence, that Israel repeatedly showers praise on Trump saying it never had a better friend.
The Arab Parliament’s rejection of the US recognition of Golan Heights is totally justified. As stated by Dr Mishaal Bin Fahm Al Salami, Speaker of Arab Parliament, the US illegal decision is completely rejected and condemned, null, has no legal grounds, and are unilateral measures to change a legally recognised situation, which is that the Syrian Golan Heights remain an occupied land.
Such a decision undoubtedly represents a serious and unprecedented challenge to the will of all countries of the world and is a confiscation of land by force.
The sequence of events highlights the dubious intent of Washington. In its latest human rights report published on March 14, the United States referred to the Golan Heights as “Israeli-controlled” as opposed to “Israeli-occupied.” The wording presaged Trump’s Twitter declaration a week later that Washington should recognise Israeli sovereignty.
Trump eventually followed that up on Monday by signing a proclamation that declared the Golan belongs to Israel at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side.
It is good that United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has made it clear that the status of Golan has not changed.
A UN Security Council resolution adopted unanimously by the 15-member body in 1981 unambiguously declared that Israel’s decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect. It had also demanded Israel rescind its decision.
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) is absolutely correct in stressing that there is no possibility of achieving stability and peace in the region as long as Israel continues its occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories.
The UAE, on its part, holds a firm position in recognising the Golan Heights as Syrian territory and the decision by the US Administration cannot change this reality.
The MoFAIC has well reaffirmed the necessity of abiding by UN Security Council resolutions No. 242 of 1967 and 497 of 1981 and the principles set out in the Arab Peace Initiative concerning a full Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan Heights.