US President Donald Trump has signed a declaration recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, seized from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War.
In a joint press conference with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, Trump hailed the “powerful” relationship between the US and Israel, while Netanyahu called the signing “historic justice” and a “diplomatic victory.”
The announcement comes less than a week after Trump tweeted support for Israel’s claim to the territory, despite the UN ruling the annexation “null and void.” The Golan Heights is home to some 27,000 Syrians, and the Israeli occupation of the area has been blasted as “completely beyond international law” by the Arab League.
Netanyahu’s visit to Washington was cut short on Monday morning, after a Palestinian rocket struck a house in a town near Tel Aviv, injuring seven people. As the PM and Trump spoke to the press, Israeli helicopters and jets began pounding Hamas targets in the Gaza strip in retaliation.
Before returning to Israel, Netanyahu vowed to respond “forcefully” to the “wanton” rocket attack.
Calling the decision a “flagrant attack” on Syrian territorial sovereignty, an official from Syria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned Donald Trump’s recognition of Israel’s claim to the occupied Golan Heights.
Remember the American response to Russia’s ‘annexation’ of Crimea?