In a ceremony marking 50 years since Israel’s military victory of 1967, Rivlin said the Golan Heights are “essential” to Israel’s existence.

Photo credit: Channel 2 News

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has called on the international community to officially recognize Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan Heights, a territory captured from Syria during the 1967 War.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Israel’s military victory, Rivlin said world nations “must officially recognize that the Golan Heights are an intergal part of the State of Israel, and are essential to our existence.”

“We will never allow for the residents of the Galilee to be exposed to the weapons of a regime that massacres its own citizens,” Rivlin said, adding that the Jewish people has a long historic connection to the territory.

“To be exact, up until the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the Golan Heights had always been part of the Galilee District,” he said.