The UN General Assembly on November 29 adopted a resolution calling on Israel to release the occupied Golan Heights, the press service of the organization reported.
91 countries voted in favor of the document, including Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, as well as Russia, Brazil, India and China. Eight countries voted against, with the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada among them. 62 countries abstained.
The resolution was co-sponsored by Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, the UAE, Syria and other countries.
The document consists of eight paragraphs. The first one claims Israel’s non-compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 497 of 1981, which requires the country to abolish the law establishing Israeli jurisdiction over the Golan Heights.
In addition, the resolution demands “that Israel withdraw from all the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967 in implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.” It is also mentioned “that the continued occupation of the Syrian Golan and its de facto annexation constitute a stumbling block in the way of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region.”
Israel’s permanent representative to the UN, Gilad Erdan, following the decision claimed that his country did not consider fulfilling the requirements of the document to be possible. “We fundamentally disagree with its wording and are not going to fulfill this resolution in principle. It has become yet another confirmation that the UN is currently incapable of making any adequate decisions related to Israel,” Kommersant quoted him.
The Golan Heights were part of Syrian territory until 1967, when they were captured by Israel during the Six-Day War and later integrated with the Jewish State. In 1981, the Israeli parliament passed a law that unilaterally declared the sovereignty of the Jewish state over the territory. UN Security Council Resolution 497 of December 17, 1981, invalidated the annexation.
During the Arab-Israeli war in 1973, Syria attempted to regain the Golan Heights, but was defeated. A neutral demilitarized strip controlled by the UN forces was established between Israeli and Syrian forces.
Syria still regards the Golan Heights a part of its territory and returning the land as an essential condition for signing a peace agreement with Israel.