US To Vote 'No' Instead Of Abstain On UN Resolution About Golan

Golan Heights. File

For the first time ever, the United States on Friday meant to vote against an annual UN resolution condemning Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights. "We thank the USA for standing with us on this vote", he said.

While the resolution is non-binding, the annual ritual has served as an global censure of Israel's decision in the early 1980s to bring the Golan under its sovereignty.

"It is time for the world to distinguish between those who stabilise the region and those who sow terror", he noted.

In May, Israel's Intelligence Minister Israel Katz predicted the USA would soon recognize Israel's claim over its piece of the Golan as a show of strength for Tehran.

In fact, the UN General Assembly Special Political and Decolonization Committee - known as the Fourth Committee - is set to adopt nine resolutions on Friday against Israel, zero against any other nation.

Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, welcomed the American vote against the UN resolution condemning Israel's presence in the Golan Heights.

UN Watch applauded U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for announcing Thursday that the United States will vote "No" on the Assad-backed Golan resolution, instead of abstaining as has been done in the past.

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.

Thousands of Israelis have settled in the area, many promoting the region as a wine and tourism hotspot.

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Following Haley's statement, Israel's public security minister, Gilad Erdan, called it "extremely important".

It was formally brought under Israeli law in 1981 under then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin in a move that has never been recognized by the global community, and was criticized at the time by Washington.

In October, Netanyahu reiterated this demand following Russia's decision to deliver the advanced S-300 anti-aircraft system to Syria. 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". "As long as it depends on me, the Golan Heights will stay under Israeli sovereignty".

The Israeli leader has also held out hope that the United States would recognize Israel's claim, especially following last year's decision on Jerusalem.

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

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

"U.S. recognition of the Golan as Israel's is an accord with global law and reality". The move has been repeatedly condemned by the United Nations.

"Hopefully, Friday's United Nations vote is a step in this direction; in any case, it is a welcome rebuke to the U.N.'s practice of passing dozens of biased resolutions targeting Israel, while empowering despots like Assad".

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