Tuesday, April 19, 2016

US, Germany: Golan Heights Not a Part of Israel; Netanyahu:Israel Won't Cede Seized Syrian Land

The United States and Germany both have criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent declaration that the Golan Heights "will forever remain part of Israeli sovereignty," the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (April 19, 2016).

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said yesterday that the Obama administration does not consider the Golan Heights -- which Israel seized from Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967 -- to be part of Israel, despite Netanyahu's assertion at a Cabinet meeting on April 17.

"The U.S. position on the issue is unchanged," Kirby said at a daily media briefing at the State Department in Washington. "This position was maintained by both Democratic and Republican administrations. Those territories are not part of Israel and the status of those territories should be determined through negotiations."

Also, a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry said yesterday, "It's a basic principle of international law and the UN charter that no state can claim the right to annex another state's territory just like that."

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