THE United Nations General Assembly has approved a resolution declaring that the Israeli regime’s decision to impose its jurisdiction in Syria’s Golan Heights with the aim of changing the character and legal status of the strategic territory are ‘null and void’ and constitute a flagrant violation of international law.
On Thursday, a total of 149 countries supported the resolution, entitled ‘The Occupied Syrian Golan,’ the United States and Israel voted against it, and 23 abstained.
The resolution called on Israel as the occupying power to undertake its obligations as to the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, especially United Nations Security Council resolution 497 – adopted unanimously on December 17, 1981, which declares the Israeli annexation of the area as ‘null and void and without international legal effect’ and further calls on the Tel Aviv regime to rescind its action.
Israel’s decision to impose its laws and jurisdiction on the occupied Syrian Golan Heights has no international legal effect, and the regime should immediately stop changing the urban character, demographic composition and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan, particularly its settlement construction plans, the resolution pointed out.
The regime, headed by right wing stalwart Naftali Bennett, has since taking over in June begun rapid expansion of settlements.
It further called on the Tel Aviv regime to stop attempts to enforce its administration on the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, put an end to issuing Israeli identity cards for local residents of the territory, and stop its repressive measures against them.
The resolution also denounced Israel’s violations of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, adopted on August 12, 1949, and once again called upon UN member states not to recognise any of the measures taken by Israel in the Golan Heights.
Last week, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution demanding that the Israeli regime fully withdraw from the Syrian Golan Heights, declaring ‘null’ and ‘void’ the regime’s imposition of its jurisdiction on the occupied territory.
The Assembly adopted the draft resolution titled ‘The Syrian Golan’ by a recorded vote of 94 in favour to 8 against, with 69 abstentions.
A senior Iranian diplomat says the UN Security Council must compel Israel to immediately end its occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights and its acts of aggression.
Israel was joined by the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau in voting against the draft resolution.
The draft resolution reaffirmed that settlement construction and any other Israeli activities constitute a change in the demographic nature of the occupied Syrian Golan.
Last month, the United Nations overwhelmingly adopted a resolution in condemnation of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East al-Quds, and Syria’s Golan Heights, and demanded cessation of their construction.
The United Nations has approved a resolution in condemnation of the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and Syria’s Golan Heights.
In 1967, Israel waged a full-scale war against Arab territories, during which it occupied a large swathe of Golan and annexed it four years later – a move never recognised by the international community.
In 1973, another war broke out; and a year later a UN-brokered ceasefire came into force, according to which Tel Aviv and Damascus agreed to separate their troops and create a buffer zone in the Heights. However, Israel has over the past several decades built dozens of illegal settlements in Golan in defiance of international calls for the regime to stop its illegal construction activities.
In a unilateral move rejected by the international community in 2019, former US president Donald Trump signed a decree recognising Israeli ‘sovereignty’ over Golan.
Nevertheless, Syria has repeatedly reaffirmed its sovereignty over Golan, saying the territory must be completely restored to its control.
The United Nations has also time and again emphasised Syria’s sovereignty over the territory.
- Former friends and allies, Donald Trump and Binyamin Netanyahu, have fallen out with each other to the extent that the former US president says he hasn’t spoken to him since he lost power.
In interviews with journalist and author, Barak Ravid, for his new book ‘Trump’s peace: The Abraham Accords and the Reshaping of the Middle East,’ Trump accuses the former Israeli premier of ‘making a terrible mistake’ by congratulating Joe Biden on his electoral win.
The former US president, who brokered the normalisation deals between the regime in Tel Aviv and some Arab states last year, gave two freewheeling interviews to Ravid in April and July – one of them over phone – for his book, which will be out this week.
One of the interviews will feature in a new season of Axios’ ‘How It Happened’ podcast, to be released today, Ravid informed in an article on Axios.
In the interviews, Trump speaks at length about his loss to Biden in 2020 presidential elections and his love-hate relationship with Netanyahu, who has since been replaced by Naftali Bennett.
‘Nobody did more for Bibi. And I liked Bibi. I still like Bibi,’ he says, referring to Netanyahu. ‘But I also like loyalty. The first person to congratulate Biden was Bibi. And not only did he congratulate him, he did it on tape. And it was on tape.’
Trump says his wife Melania was the one who saw Netanyahu’s video and told him about it.
‘She said, Wow, look at this’, he recalls in the first interview recorded in April 2021 in Mar-a-Lago, a resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
‘The first person who congratulated Joe Biden, because this was an election in dispute, it’s still in dispute.
‘The first person who congratulated was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with … Bibi could have stayed quiet. He has made a terrible mistake,’ Trump is quoted as saying in the interview.
‘Congratulations President @JoeBiden and Vice President @KamalaHarris on your historic inauguration.
President Biden, you and I have had a warm personal friendship going back many decades.pic.twitter.com/3cO4Zb1o1Q — Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) January 20, 2021.’
Trump broke his predecessor Barack Obama’s popular vote record with over 74 million votes, but still fell short of Biden, who racked up 81 million votes.
The Biden-Harris ticket gained roughly 51% of the popular vote to the Trump-Pence ticket’s 47%.
The bitterly fought election ended with Biden being declared the winner over Trump, but the latter never accepted the defeat, claiming largescale fraud.
In the interview with Ravid, Trump claims that unlike Netanyahu, many other leaders like Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro and Russian President Vladimir Putin did not congratulate Biden right away because ‘they felt the election was rigged’.
‘He was very early. Like earlier than most. I haven’t spoken to him since,’ he complains.
Listing out the favours he did to Netanyahu, Trump refers to his decision to recognise Israel’s dominion over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights days ahead of the April 2019 elections.
‘Take the Golan for example,’ he says, ‘That was a big deal. People say that was a $10 billion gift. I did it right before the election, which helped him (Netanyahu) a lot … he would have lost the election if it wasn’t for me.
‘So he tied. He went up a lot after I did it. He went up 10 points or 15 points after I did Golan Heights.’
Trump also refers to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers, from which he unilaterally withdrew in 2018 allegedly under Netanyahu’s pressure, as ‘disaster’.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the US president is being lured by Bolton and Netanyahu into destroying a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and other countries.
‘Now Biden is going back to the deal because he has no clue. The Israelis fought this deal and Obama wouldn’t listen to them,’ he says.
‘The decision to back out of the deal was because of my relations with Israel – not with Bibi. Those were my feelings towards Israel,’ he hastens to add.
The former US president says had it not been for him, the Israeli regime would have been ‘destroyed’.
‘I’ll tell you what – had I not come along I think Israel was going to be destroyed. Okay. You want to know the truth? I think Israel would have been destroyed maybe by now.’