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25 Mar, 2019 10:12

‘Wrecking ball’ to international law: HRW slams Trump’s support for Israel’s claim to Golan Heights

‘Wrecking ball’ to international law: HRW slams Trump’s support for Israel’s claim to Golan Heights

Human Rights Watch has slammed the Trump administration for promising to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, describing it as sending a “wrecking ball” through the rights of Syrians living there.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to visit the White House on Monday, where Trump is expected to ratify a directive recognizing Israel’s territorial claim, despite international outcry that it goes against international law.

“President Trump appears poised to drive a wrecking ball through the international law that protects the population of the occupied Golan Heights,” Eric Goldstein, HRW’s deputy director in Middle East and North Africa warned.

He added that if the president followed through with the recognition, it may encourage others to “double down” on their own land grabs.

The Syrian territory has been occupied by Israel since 1967’s Six Day War with Israel’s Arab neighbors. Some 27,000 Syrians are still living on the annexed land.

In 1981, Tel Aviv extended its own laws to the region, but these were declared “null and void” by the UN Security Council.

However this didn’t stop President Trump from tweeting last week that it was time to “fully recognize” Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied land, saying it’s of “strategic and security importance.”

Yet, his calls have failed to gather support from international allies, with Turkey’s President Erdogan saying he would take the issue to the UN. EU members have also stood by the UN resolution, with Germany’s foreign minister saying the Golan Heights’ occupation is still “status quo under the international law.”

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