Golan Heights issue

Golan Heights Recognized as Israel’s Territory – Protection or Political Benefit?

in Opinions

President Donald Trump has finally acknowledged the long awaited issue of the Golan Heights. He announced Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which was a massive change in American Foreign Policy that is likely to benefit Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Rep. Mike Gallagher, the three US Senators and lawmakers welcomed this decision and praised the President over the Golan Heights move. Trump called the territory “of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”

Golan Heights is a rocky plateau in south-western Syria, having a political and strategic significance which belies its size. The area was captured from Syria and occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967. Syria tried to retake the Golan Heights, thereby a war was initiated between the two countries, later both the countries signed an armistice in 1974 and a UN observer force has been in place on the ceasefire line since 1974. In 1981, Israel unilaterally annexed the Golan Heights.

The advantage of the Heights is that it helps Israel to monitor Syrian movements, be it a military threat or any assault from the inhabitants. It also provides water supply to one-third of Israel. The land is fertile, and the volcanic soil is used to cultivate vineyards and orchards and raise cattle and is also home to Israel’s only ski resort.   

Several other law makers praised the President’s move on this calling it to be strategically wise. In a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Netanyahu called Trump’s announcement a “Purim miracle”.  However, both Syria and Turkey drew strong condemnation over this decision and the Syrian government called it irresponsible and a threat to international peace and stability, while Iran’s foreign ministry said that it would plunge the region into new crisis.

Netanyahu claimed that Iran was trying to use Syria as a platform to attack and destroy Israel and with the recognition of the Golan Heights, Trump has given a message to the world that America stands by Israel. Netanyahu has been grateful to Trump for his previous efforts in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by moving the US embassy over there, and also for pulling out Israel from the disastrous Iran treaty and re-imposed sanctions on Iran. He thanked Trump for all the previous support and his current move.

Amidst all this, with the recognition of the Golan Heights the PM of Israel will surely get a political boost right before the elections.

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