USA to vote "No" for first time on UN Golan resolution

Israeli soldiers are seen in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights Israel

REUTERS Ronen Zvulun Israel Launches'Surprise Military Exercise in Golan Heights – Defense Forces

The United States has announced it will oppose a United Nations General Assembly committee resolution condemning Israel's presence in the Golan Heights and calling on the Netanyahu government to return the region - which was annexed decades ago by Israel - to Syria.

It appears these predictions may be coming to fruition as Haley readies to vote against the resolution Friday in what would be a historic change in United States policy on the issue.

Each year, the assembly votes on the resolution that stipulates the "illegality" of Israel's decision "to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan", which it signifies as illegal according to global law.

Israel captured most of it from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.

Ever since Israel seized control of the strategic plateau on the 1967 Six Day War, the United States has abstained when the resolution titled "The Occupied Syrian Golan" was brought to a vote.

Since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, the Golan Heights have been seen as an integral part of Israel's security, due to the turmoil and instability on the Syrian side of the border.

"Given the resolution's anti-Israel bias, as well as the militarisation of the Syrian Golan border, and a worsening humanitarian crisis, this year the United States has made a decision to vote no on the resolution", Haley said.

Earlier, US National Security Advisor John Bolton had said that the Trump administration was not discussing any possible recognition of Israel's annexation of the occupied Syrian territory. "Further, the atrocities the Syrian regime continues to commit prove its lack of fitness to govern anyone", she said in a statement.

"I've heard the idea being suggested but there's no discussion of it, no decision within the USA government", Bolton reportedly said during his visit to Israel this week.

They were sponsored by a number of countries that have been scrutinized for their own human rights records, among them Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. "The world body now adds insult to injury", he said.

The US will no longer abstain when the United Nations engages in its useless annual vote on the Golan Heights.

"The change in the American voting pattern is another testament to the strong cooperation between the two countries", Danon said. However, David Friedman, Trump's former personal lawyer and ambassador to Israel, said the next month that he expected Israel to keep the Golan Heights "forever".

"It is time the world distinguishes those who stabilise the region from those who sow terror", he said, in a message that Haley retweeted.

"I can not honestly imagine a situation in which the Golan Heights is not part of Israel forever", Friedman told the Israel Hayom daily.

"Obviously we understand the Israeli claim that it has annexed the Golan Heights - we understand their position - but there's no change in the U.S. position for now", he told the Reuters news agency in an interview.

Latest News