Golan Heights: Syria condemns Donald Trump's remarks

President Donald Trump had said it was time to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights that Israel seized from Syria in 1967

Donald Trump announces US should recognise Israeli annexation of Golan Heights

Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit announced that the league fully supports Syrian sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Trend reports citing Sputnik.

Notably, the U.S. State Department last week officially referred to the Golan Heights as an "Israeli-controlled" territory.

If Washington actually goes for it, such a move would constitute a blatant disregard to worldwide law as well as to the global commitments the USA itself assumed when it supported a 1981 resolution, which declared the Israeli occupation of the Golan null and void.

Russian Federation made clear on Thursday that it would never recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, suggesting Trump is aiming to harm the partnership between Russian Federation and Syria.

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.

"Tonight, President Trump made the decision to recognize that that hard-fought real estate, that important place, is proper to be a sovereign part of the state of Israel", he said.

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Pompeo's events with Netanyahu included a visit to the Western Wall that made him the highest-ranking US official to visit the Jewish holy site with any Israeli leader and appeared to further signal the Trump administration's support for Israel's control of the contested city.

The visit possibly signaled tacit USA recognition of Israeli control of the Jewish holy site, but it was quickly followed by Trump's specific announcement on the Golan Heights.

"In each of those missions, the task that I have is informed by my understanding of my faith, my belief in Jesus Christ as the savior", Pompeo said.

For its part, Israel has carried out repeated airstrikes on Hezbollah in Syria, where the Shiite militia - along with Russian air power - helped President Bashar Assad turn the tables against rebels and militants. "But we know this will stay Syrian land", said Sheikh Mahmoud Nazeeh, 70.

With Israeli elections just weeks away, recognizing the Golan Heights will likely boost Netanyahu's re-election bid.

"After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights", Trump wrote on Thursday. The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

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Appearing to give an upbeat assessment of US mediation efforts to resolve a maritime border dispute between Lebanon and Israel, Bassil said Beirut had an opportunity to recover its rights with a "political and diplomatic victory".

Separately, the minister called on USA firms to take part in tenders in Lebanon, noting that a "Russian-American" economic alliance can be reached in terms of economic projects in the country.

According to the report, Trump's Middle East peace negotiators and the State Department were also surprised by the move, with USA officials having expected an announcement when Trump hosts Netanyahu at the White House next week.

J Street, a liberal Jewish-American lobbying group, criticized Mr. Trump's action, saying that premature US recognition of Israeli sovereignty of Golan is a needlessly provocative move that violates global law.

Israeli newspaper front pages on Friday were dominated by the news from Washington.

"Trying to draw parallels between the President and biblical figures is not a helpful way to conduct foreign policy", Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, president of Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said in an email.

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