Caabu welcomes UK confirmation that the Golan Heights is occupied territory
27 March 2019
Caabu welcomes the UK government's reiteration of its historic position that the Golan Heights is territory occupied by Israel. This follows the decision of President Trump to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights.
A statement from the Foreign Office on 22 March said: “The UK views the Golan Heights as territory occupied by Israel. Annexation of territory by force is prohibited under international law, including the UN Charter. We did not recognise Israel’s annexation in 1981 and have no plans to change our position.”
Members of Parliament have also tabled an Early Day Motion opposing the US move and supporting the position that Israel is in occupation of the Golan Heights and that its annexation remains in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 497.
The text can be read here. Please do get your MP (only backbenchers by convention can sign) to back the motion.
Writing for 7D News, Caabu Director, Chris Doyle wrote:
“In a 35-word tweet, President Trump overturned a 52-year-old policy, and the international consensus on the Golan Heights and Occupied Territory. Ever since 1967, the international community had stood firm on this. It did so also in 1981 when Israel passed the Golan Sovereignty Law, annexing the territory to Israel.
Syrians have suffered enough without having their land stolen from them. No doubt Trump is fine with this because they are to him just Arabs and Muslims, people he likes to ban from the US. Trump has shut the doors to Syrian nationals entering the US.
For the rest of the world, the issue is clear, at least for the moment. The Golan Heights is all Syrian territory, two-thirds of it occupied by Israel, some 100 square kilometres. If there are areas of dispute they are restricted to the demilitarised zones and the Sea of Galilee. The 30 Israeli settlements in the occupied Golan Heights are illegal and a violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. These settlements have expanded, and today the numbers of illegal settlers there are over 20,000.
Israel’s actions are also in clear breach of United Nations Security Council Resolution 497 of 1981. This stressed that Israel’s decision to annex the Golan Heights was null and void and should be rescinded immediately.
The Golan Heights was never a part of the historic Palestine Mandate, so Israel does not even have the faintest of claims to the area. It also undermines the universally acknowledged legal position that no country can acquire territory by war. Russia stole Crimea and faced European sanctions. Israel occupies Syrian and Palestinian territory and just gets away with it, not for a few years but over half a century.”