The United Nations Security Council held an urgent meeting late Wednesday night to condemn the United States for recognizing Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan.
Syria’s mission to the UN requested the meeting and called President Donald Trump’s Golan decision a “flagrant violation of the relevant Security Council’s resolutions.”
One-by-one, fourteen member states rebuked the United State’s proclamation.
South Africa’s U.N. Ambassador Jerry Matjila said, “this unilateral action does nothing to assist in finding a long-term peaceful solution to the conflict in the Middle East.”
He and other member states pointed to resolutions calling for Israel to give up the Golan Heights.
Israel took the strategic territory from Syria in 1967 during the Six-Day-War and officially annexed it in 1981. Not long after that, the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling Israel’s sovereignty over the territory “null and void and without international legal effect.”
Last week, Trump broke from the international consensus and declared the Golan Israeli territory.
Russia, one of Syria’s closest allies, also condemned the move Wednesday evening.
“If anybody feels any temptation to follow this poor example, we would urge them to refrain from this aggressive revision of international law,” Russia’s deputy ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said.
Germany’s ambassador to the UN Christoph Heusgen accused Syria of hypocrisy for refusing to acknowledged it’s own violations of international law, but said Israel’s security concerns “do not justify an annexation” of the region.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon also called Syria hypocritical.
“It’s been a month since the #UN discussed Assad’s war crimes against the #Syrian people. Yet, it took less than 24 hours for the #UNSC to call a meeting on #US recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Syria’s war can end, Israeli sovereignty will remain forever!” Danon tweeted.
It's been a month since the #UN discussed Assad's war crimes against the #Syrian people. Yet, it took less than 24 hours for the #UNSC to call a meeting on #US recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Syria's war can end, Israeli sovereignty will remain forever! https://t.co/JpGMLtd8Eb
— Ambassador Danny Danon | דני דנון (@dannydanon) March 27, 2019
He also reiterated that giving up the Golan would endanger Israeli lives
“No nation in the world would give up strategic land to its most dangerous enemy. Without the Golan Heights, #Israel will find Iranian soldiers on the tip of the Sea of Galilee. We will never let that happen! #UNSC”
“The war crimes of the dictator from Damascus will some day be stopped. But Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights will continue forever.”
U.S. political coordinator Rodney Hunter defended Trump’s decision to the council.
“As we said yesterday, to allow the Golan Heights to be controlled by the likes of the Syrian and Iranian regimes would turn a blind eye to the threats emanating from a Syrian regime that engages in atrocities and from Iran and terrorist actors, including Hizballah, seeking to use the Golan Heights as a launching ground for attacks on Israel,” he said.
Hunter also called out Syria for “the daily presence of Syrian armed forces” in a buffer zone called the “area of separation”, where a UN peacekeeping force known as UNDOF overseas.
He strongly criticized “the daily presence of the Syrian armed forces” in the area of separation, where UNDOF is the only military force allowed, calling their presence a violation of the 1974 cease-fire agreement.
“The United States and this Council cannot accept Syria’s efforts to establish its presence in the Area of Separation as a new norm,” he added.