GOLAN HEIGHTS – A new Israeli settlement in the Golan Heights, land captured from Syria during the 1967 Israeli-Arab war, but considered occupied under international law, is to be named after US President Donald Trump in gratitude for his recognition of the disputed territory as belonging to Israel.
Next month Israeli and US officials will hold a cornerstone-laying ceremony at the site where the new settlement is to be built after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu completes the formation of his new government after winning the presidential elections in April.
Trump’s recognition in support of Israel’s claim has broken an international consensus following World War II which forbids the conquest of territory in war. He has also ended half a century of US foreign policy regarding Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory.
Following the 1967 war the UN Security Council (UNSC) condemned Israel’s subsequent annexation of the Golan Heights while Israel’s occupation of the there has never been recognised by the international community.
During the war almost 130,000 Syrians were forced to flee their homes and were never allowed to return while most of their farms and villages were destroyed.
The US president’s recognition follows pro-annexation advocacy by America's ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, a long-time supporter of the Jewish state and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is married to the president’s daughter Ivanka.
Syrian President Bashar Al Assad has vowed never to accept Israel’s occupation of this land and the ongoing territorial dispute has increased tensions between the two neighbouring countries.
Trump’s official recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory is expected to further exacerbate these tensions.
These developments come hot on the heels of a new American peace deal aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which is to be officially presented to the international community next month.
Palestinian anger, however, is already mounting over leaked details of the new deal which is said to favour Israeli conditions, specifically in regards to security, while ignoring Palestinian aspirations for an independent state and an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.
African News Agency (ANA)