The Golan Heights is an area in the eastern part of Mediterranean, Levant, crossing about 1,800 square kilometers (690 sq mi). Mainly, the Golan Height is a region seized from Syria and conquered by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, it was controlled by Israel since then and till 1981.
The initial sign of human dwelling on the Golan dates back to the Paleolithic era. As per the Old Testament, the Golan Heights was “the focus of a power struggle between the Kings of Israel and the Aramaeans who were based near modern-day Damascus.” In 636 CE Golan was conquered by Hazrat Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second pious Muslim Caliph.
Later on, in the 16th century, Golan Heights was surmounted by the Ottoman Empire since 1918. In 1918 it came under the realm of the French till 1946. Finally, in 1946 Golan Heights was recognized as part of Syria.
After the 1967 Six-Day War, the west of the Golan Heights has been controlled and managed by Israel; and, the eastern part remained in command of Syria. Israel began to construct settlements in the controlled area and even tried to annex it by promulgating “Golan Heights Law” in 1981.
However, the United Nations intervened and passed a Security Council Resolution 497, which declared that “the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void; and without international legal effect”, and Resolution 242, which emphasises “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”.
After the opening of the Syrian Civil War, administration of the Syrian-controlled part of the Golan Heights was divided between the government and opponent forces. Since the beginning of 2012, the eastern region Golan Heights grew as a battle zone between adverse government forces in Syria and the Syrian Army. Main players of the battle are Al Nusra, ISIL and the government authorities.
Importance of Golan Heights
The Golan Heights is a rocky Pleateu, It gives the extensive sight of Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. The region is about 1,200 square kilometer.
The South of Syria and Damascus, about 61 kilometers (KM) in the north, are plainly apparent from the top of the Golan. In the Six Days War, 1967 and before when Golan Heights was in control of Syria, the Syrian cannons frequently bombarded the entire area of northern Israel.
Golan Heights gives Israel a tremendous defensive and offensive place and a cardinal point to witness military actions over the border. On the contrary, if Syria gets control of Golan Heights, Syrian would have a strategic spot to overlook Israel.
Iran, the enemy of Israel just like other Muslim countries pose a threat to Israel with its Lebanese ally Hezbollah along with the help of Bashar Al Assad. Golan Heights in Israel Possession can work as a security fence for Israel against Iran and her allies.
Moreover, Golan is key to water resources in a parched region. The Golan Heights catchment area supplies into the River Jordan and Galilee sea, the two significant reservoirs of water for Israel.
Additionally, the arable land is utilized for farming, with growing fields for grapevines and farms. Plus, Golan Heights has the only Ski restaurant of Israel.
US recognition of Golan Heights
In March 2019, the United States (U.S) President Donald Trump announced that “the United States recognizes that the Golan Heights are part of the State of Israel”. This made the United States the only and first nation to acknowledge Israel’s government over the forcefully affixed areas of the Golan Heights.
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 28 member countries of the European Union (EU) announced in response to Trump’s recognition that they do not acknowledge Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights. Besides, various Israeli and other specialists on international law have declared that the law says, area obtained by defensive or aggressive battles can’t be annexed at all.
Furthermore, the recognition of Israel would set a criterion that it is right to gain an area during the war against international laws. This action of trump can also legalize the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. In addition, the recognition is against the Security Council resolution 497, in which the U.S. was a signatory.
Israel’s PM reaction to the annexation
On the contrary, the world was against its but Israel greatly welcomed the recognition and Israeli PM named a town after president trump in the Golan Heights.
“I am here with my family and many citizens of Israel at the foot of the Golan Heights, happy with the joy of the holiday and our beautiful country,” Netanyahu said in a video post. “And there is more joy – a few weeks ago I brought President Trump’s official recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights forever.”
Israel has maintained her hegemonic stance ever since its birth. Israel has targetted the Muslims of Palestine and surrounding multiple times. To our utter dismay, instead of punishing Israel, the power house of the world the U.S. appreciated her and recognized her evil doings.