Published: Sat, March 23, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Russian Federation alert: Kremlin sends United States warning over Israel territory claim - ‘Destabilising!'

Russian Federation alert: Kremlin sends United States warning over Israel territory claim - ‘Destabilising!'

The Syrian government called it "irresponsible" and a threat to global peace and stability, while Iran's foreign ministry said it plunges the region into a new crisis.

The Syrian government said it was determined to recover the area "through all available means".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu celebrated President Trump's decision to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel.

The Kremlin criticized Trump's Thursday comments, arguing that recognizing Israel's control of the territory would inflame regional tensions.

Several countries condemned on Friday US President Donald Trump's recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Israel's Government says it also fears that Iran, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is seeking to establish itself permanently on the Syrian side of the border in order to launch attacks on Israel.

The remarks by Mr Pompeo, and the Golan announcement by Mr Trump, come just weeks before Israeli elections are held on 9 April. "With such threats a daily reality of Israeli life, we maintain our unparalleled commitment to Israel's security and firmly support your right to defend yourself", he told Netanyahu.

The Palestinians have sought to claim east Jerusalem as its capital of an eventual independent state, but Israel also considers Jerusalem as its eternal and indivisible capital.

What other reaction has there been?

US President Donald Trump had said it is time to back Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East War.

Stocks move lower ahead of Federal Reserve policy decision
It also announced that it will stop shrinking its bond portfolio in September, a step that should help hold down long-term rates. Powell is expected to note that while the US economy is on firm footing, it faces risks from slowing growth and trade conflicts.

Israel regards the Golan as a strategic asset, because its hills overlook northern Israeli towns, particularly near its inland Sea of Galilee.

Mr Pompeo was reportedly given Israeli intelligence briefings on efforts by Hezbollah to establish positions in Syrian-controlled parts of the Golan from which to threaten Israel. "We must make sure that future administrations can't easily throw Israel's safety into flux". The whole move is effectively nothing but a blatant direct interference into Israeli elections, which is quite clearly aimed at giving one particular candidate a boost. Annexation of territory by force is prohibited under worldwide law, including the UN Charter.

Israeli soldiers stand guard at the Quneitra crossing in the Golan Heights.

"The European Union, in line with worldwide law, does not recognise Israel's sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, including the Golan Heights and does not consider them to be part of Israel's territory". It's been an occupied territory ever since, in defiance of multiple resolutions by the United Nations. "They have a better life than being in Syria or any Arab country - just look what happened in the war in Syria", he said.

In 1981, the Israeli parliament passed a law to unilaterally declare sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

It was later declared "null and void and without worldwide legal effect" by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 497.

"It's clear that this cynical move by Trump is not about the long-term interests of the U.S. or Israel, but rather about handing yet another political gift to Prime Minister Netanyahu in the hopes of boosting his chances for re-election next month", Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street writes. The Golan front has been mostly quiet since 1974, a year after Syria and Israel fought a war during which Damascus tried unsuccessfully tried to retake the plateau.

There are more than 30 Israeli settlements in the Golan, which are home to an estimated 20,000 people.

Well, unilateral decisions by countries should not be allowed to undermine global institutions and worldwide law.

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