One day after the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed that the occupied Golan Heights would “forever remain under Israeli sovereignty,” the U.S. State Department issued a statement of their own that rebuffed this claim.
When asked about Netanyahu’s comments regarding the illegally occupied Golan Heights, the U.S. State Department’s Spokesperson, John Kirby, asserted that the U.S.’ position has not changed, despite the ongoing turmoil inside Syria.
“This position was maintained by both Democratic and Republican administrations. Those territories are not part of Israel and the status of those territories should be determined through negotiations. The current situation in Syria does not allow this.”
According to the Haaretz, one of the few U.S. politicians to back Netanyahu’s comments was U.S. Presidential candidate, Ted Cruz.
Cruz stated that “the government of Israel reiterated the reality that the Golan Heights are part of Israel’s sovereign territory.”
He would add that it is “dangerous for the international community to try to pressure Israel to abandon the Golan to the chaos engulfing Syria.”
The U.S. was not alone in rejecting Netanyahu’s claims: the German government also expressed their discontent with the Israeli Prime Minister’s comments.
“It’s a basic principle of international law and the UN charter that no state can claim the right to annex another state’s territory just like that,” Martin Schaefer, spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry, said Monday.
In 1981, the U.N. unanimously adopted Resolution 497, which called on Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights.
Israel rejected Resolution 497 and has refused to withdraw from the Golan Heights.
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