Israel’s UN Ambassador Slams Security Council Over Rejection of Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights
The Israeli ambassador to the United Nations slammed the Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday for its latest criticism of the Jewish state.
In response to the UNSC’s reiteration of its commitment to Resolution 497, which states that any decision by Israel “to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration in the Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect” Danny Danon took issue with the body’s having convened to discuss the topic altogether, and with the upshot of the meeting.
This “completely ignores the reality in the Middle East,” Danon said. “While thousands of people are being massacred in Syria, and millions of citizens have become refugees, the Security Council has chosen to focus on Israel – the only true democracy in the Middle East. It’s unfortunate that interested parties are attempting to use the council for unfair criticism of Israel.”
The meeting in question was convened in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration on April 17 that Israel would never relinquish sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the territory that Israel captured from Syria following the 1967 Six Day War, and which it annexed in 1981.
Netanyahu made this announcement during a special cabinet session held in the Golan – in a move understood as a warning to the United States and Russia to leave the area that Israel considers of strategic importance out of any future arrangement reached in relation to the future of Syria, which has been embroiled in a bloody civil war for the past five years.
The day after Netanyahu made his declaration, US State Department spokesman John Kirby said, “Every administration on both sides of the aisle since 1967 has maintained that those territories are not part of Israel.”
Prior to Kirby’s statement, Netanyahu gave a briefing to military reporters, during which he said he had asked himself to whom Israel would be expected to hand over the territory. “To Islamic State? When the Syrians were there it was a platform for attacks against Israel. The time has come for the international community to internalize that the whole Golan will remain in Israeli hands.”