Transportation Minister Haim Corfu placing a sign on the Golan Heights after its annexation as a Druze Israeli looks on, December 23, 1981.
(photo credit: GPO ARCHIVES)
Saudi Arabia denounced US President Donald Trump's recognition of Israel's 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights, a statement released by the Saudi Press Agency said early on Tuesday.
"Attempts to impose fait accompli do not change the facts," the statement said. It said the Golan Heights was an "occupied Syrian Arab land in accordance with the relevant international resolutions."
"It will have significant negative effects on the peace process in the Middle East and the security and stability of the region," it said.
Trump, with visiting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side during a visit to Washington, signed a proclamation on Monday officially granting US recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.
Israel obtained control of the the strategic Golan Heights in the 1967 Six Day War from Syria who controlled the highlands since 1948, often using it as a launching site to attack Israeli farms in the north.
Israel, under Prime Minister Menachem Begin, officially annexed the territory in 1981. The issue of relinquishing the land in exchange for a peace deal with Syria has been discussed over the years with no results.
The Saudi Press Agency report claimed Monday's declaration was a violation of the United Nations Charter and of international law.
In contrast to the Saudi claims, Netanyahu called the Golan a historic part of the Jewish people's heritage. "When you put a shovel in the ground you uncover magnificent synagogues that we are restoring there,” he stated.
“The Golan is ours by historic right, the Golan is ours by the right of self defense, and President Trump has recognized this. When you start aggressive wars, and you lose territory, don't come and claim them afterward,” Netanyahu said referring to Syria which is now in the midst of a bloody civil war.
The two nations fought in the 1948 War of Independence and in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The current conflict has resulted in stray rockets being mistakenly shot into Israeli land prompting rare reprisals.(Reuters reporting by Mohamed El-Sherif. Editing by Paul Tait. The Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this article)
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