Netanyahu mocks investigations as he gifts Golan wine to Trump

Arturo Kim
March 26, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump announced last week that it was time for the U.S.to "fully recognize Israel's sovereignty" over the Golan Heights.

Netanyahu was visiting Washington for the conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel US lobby, but cut his visit short after a rocket fired Monday from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip hit a house north of Tel Aviv, wounding seven Israelis in an unusually long-range attack.

"Since 1981 Israel has been investing in those areas and turned the Golan Heights into a touristic region, not only the military bastion for potential attacks from Syria or Lebanon". It also runs counter to the position of the United Nations, which declared Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights in 1981 "null and void and without worldwide legal effect" and called on Israel to withdraw from the area immediately.

President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

"I find President Trump's decision ironic", Mr Ross told The National.

Amnesty International called the decision "irresponsible, reckless and yet another example of the Trump administration violating international law and consensus by condoning Israel's illegal annexation".

An Israeli flag is seen on top of signs pointing out distances to different cities, on Mount Bental, an observation post in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights that overlooks the Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing, Israel May 10, 2018.

Abu Jabal summed up Trump's tweet by saying, "It's an idiotic decision from an idiot who gives something that does not belong to him to another idiot even more corrupt than himself".

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Signing the document as Netanyahu looked over his shoulder, Mr Trump said: "This was a long time in the making".

"This is truly an historic day", Netanyahu exclaimed, saying it has taken half a century "to translate our military victory into a diplomatic victory".

"Annexation of territory by force is prohibited under global law".

He handed the pen that he used for his signature to Netanyahu, and said: "Give this to the people of Israel".

Elsewhere in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel group, held its annual meeting with speaker after speaker expressing USA support for strong ties with the country.

"The US president has no right or legal capacity to legalize the occupation or usurp the others' land by force. and this US hostile policy makes the region and the world subject to all dangers", the official said. "It's a very, very important asset for the State of Israel, and it is important that [this relationship] continues to serve us".

Today's meeting will also provide a boost to Israel's incumbent PM.

Mr Gantz said that Jerusalem would always remain Israel's "united and eternal capital" and said, without ruling out a Palestinian state in the West Bank, that the Jordan Valley will "always" be Israel's eastern security border. "We are aware of the latest reports of firing on Gaza", Dujarric said. "It doesn't really matter that much... it's a political gift to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu", he added. This diminished the political value of American recognition for Israel and ensured that few other countries, including Canada, would follow America's lead, further isolating and weakening American leadership.

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