Netanyahu Says Golan Heights Move ‘Proves You Can’ Keep Occupied Territory

Nevertheless, US allies and adversaries rebuked Trump’s executive order concerning disputed territory of Golan Heights calling it a violation of international law that would only heighten tensions.


Netanyahu Lindsay Graham Golan Heights merlin_152549577_b4faef4c-4248-472e-a6f2-04cc9b4d249e-jumboAbove: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, Senator Lindsey Graham, to the left, and the American ambassador, David M. Friedman, right, visited the Golan Heights this month.

JERUSALEM — For decades, international law has held that territory seized in war must be returned. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel asserted Tuesday that this was no longer a given.

He made the argument after President Trump recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, but his remarks, two weeks before a tight Israeli election, were taken to refer to the West Bank as well.

“There is a very important principle in international life,” Mr. Netanyahu said late Monday after attending the Golan signing ceremony at the White House. “When you start wars of aggression, you lose territory, do not come and claim it afterwards. It belongs to us.”

…But Israeli sovereignty of the Golan remains a minority view. The United Nations secretary general and many countries in the region, from allies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to adversaries, like Iran and Syria, which claims the Golan, have condemned the American move.

At the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, allies and adversaries rebuked Mr. Trump’s declaration, calling it a violation of international law that would only heighten tensions…

The French ambassador, François Delattre, called the declaration “a breach of international law, in particular the obligation of states to not recognize an illegal situation of occupation.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Britain, Russia and China.


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