UN Security Council to Meet Over US Golan Heights Decision
The United Nations Security Council will meet later on Wednesday, at the request of Syria, over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Israel‘s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it in 1981 in a move the Security Council declared “null and void and without international legal effect.”
In a letter to the 15-member Security Council requesting a meeting, Syria described the US decision as a “flagrant violation” of Security Council resolutions.
Trump, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looking over his shoulder during a visit to Washington, on Monday signed a proclamation officially granting US recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.
The European members of the council — France, Britain, Germany, Belgium and Poland — said on Tuesday they did not recognize Israel‘s sovereignty over the territories it has controlled since June 1967, including the Golan Heights, and raised concerns about “broader consequences of recognizing illegal annexation and also about the broader regional consequences.”
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait on Tuesday criticized the U.S. decision and said the territory was occupied Arab land. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi said it was an impediment to peace. Iran echoed the comments, describing Trump’s decision as unprecedented in this century.
The Security Council deployed a peacekeeping force in 1974 — known as the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) — to monitor a ceasefire between Syria and Israel in the Golan Heights. There are more than 880 UN troops on the ground.
Ahead of Wednesday’s Security Council meeting, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said in a statement, “For 19 years, Syria used the Golan as a forward position against the State of Israel, and today it is Iran that wants to place its soldiers on the border of the Sea of Galilee. Israel will never allow such a reality and it is time for the international community to recognize that the Golan will remain under Israeli sovereignty forever. The United States and Israel stand together in this debate against the hypocrisy and the lies.”