Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights will not be recognized or sanctioned by the European Union (E.U.) , despite the U.S. policy reversal on the disputed territory.
The E.U. Foreign Affairs Department said in a statement Wednesday that it was the “unanimous position” of all 28 member states not to change their stance in line with U.N. resolutions that identify the Golan Heights as occupied territory and reject the seizure of land by force.
The move follows Monday’s signing by President Donald Trump of a proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, reversing more than a half-century of U.S. policy.
Standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, Trump made formal a move he announced in a tweet last week.
After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2019
The president said it was time for the U.S. to take the step after 52 years of Israeli control of the strategic highlands on the border with Syria.
Israel captured the Israeli sections of the Golan Heights from Syria as a result of the Six-Dar War and Israel annexed the territory in 1981.
Israel has maintained the territory longer than the brief 19 years that it was under Syrian control from 1948 to 1967. Before that, the Golan was controlled by the French and British mandates and by Turkey.
After the modern state of Israel was founded in 1948, tens of thousands of acres of land in the Golan Heights was seized from Jewish associations which had purchased the land in the late 19th century.
In recent years, Syria has been destabilized by the years-long civil war there and Iran managed to gain a significant foothold in the country.
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