The member countries of the European Union (EU) have reaffirmed that they do not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, arguing that the change in US policy in this regard is not in line with international law.
“The position of the European Union regarding the status of the Golan Heights has not changed,” said the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini, in a statement. “In line with international law and UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 497, the European Union does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights,” she added.
On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump formally signed a presidential order, in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, changing more than half a century of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. The United States is the first country to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan, which is regarded by the rest of the international community as occupied territory.
After being frequently attacked from the area, Israel conquered Syria’s Golan Heights during the Six-Day War in 1967, and annexed it in 1981.
UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967 calls on Israel to withdraw from territories occupied during the 1967 war, but according to legal specialists the resolution does not specify details (how many territories, etc.)
For its part, resolution 497, of 1981, considers “the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan Heights null and void, invalid and without legal international effect”.
The Minister of Education, Naphtali Bennett, responded to the bloc of twenty-eight EU countries that “they should be ashamed”.
“The Golan Heights and Jerusalem and the Land of Israel [have] been the home of the Jewish people thousands of years before France was the home of the French and the United Kingdom the home of the British,” Bennett said.
“So we will continue building our amazing country. We will continue defending the free world from radical Islam, even though you do not deserve it.”