Golan Heights claimed by Israel and Syria
March 22, 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump has backed Israel’s claim to sovereignty over the Golan Heights, upending decades of U.S. policy and boosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election campaign.
In a tweet, Trump declared that the plateau was of “critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and regional stability.” His tweet could help shore up support for Netanyahu in the embattled leader’s bid for a fifth term in hotly contested elections scheduled for April 9.
Israel annexed the Golan in 1981 in a move not recognised internationally. The United Nations Security Council resolution that year said that “the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect.”
In December 2017, Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ordered the relocation of the U.S. embassy to the city from Tel Aviv. The decision was condemned by Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state, and the UN General Assembly demanded its cancellation.