U.S. drops 'Israeli-occupied' from Syria's Golan Heights and Palestinian territories

U.S. drops 'Israeli-occupied' from Syria's Golan Heights and Palestinian territories

In a human rights report released on Wednesday, the department failed to refer to the Golan Heights and the West Bank as occupied territories.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh called it "a continuation of the hostile approach of the American administration toward our Palestinian people and. contrary to all United Nations resolutions".

In past years, the state department described the southern Syrian territory that overlooks the Sea of the Galilee, as "Israeli occupied", a designation that was dropped from this year's edition of the report.

"Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza detained on security grounds fell under military jurisdiction as applied by Israel to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, even if detained inside Israel".

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the global community. What we've uncovered today is just the tip of the iceberg.

"Our policy on Golan has not changed", a spokesperson for the US embassy in Jerusalem said in a statement.

Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and formally annexed the latter in 1980, declaring full sovereignty over the entire city in a move that remains unrecognised by the worldwide community.

IDF soldiers look on toward people standing next to the Israel-Syria border fence on the Golan Heights, July 17, 2018.

President Donald Trump, who has shown robust support for close U.S. ally Israel, recognised Jerusalem as the country's capital in 2017, defying worldwide consensus much to the chagrin of Palestinian leaders, who view Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Another semantic change that appeared in last year's report showed up again this year, with a section titled "Israel, Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza", instead of its previous "Israel and the Occupied Territories" heading. He moved the U.S. Embassy to the contested holy city from Tel Aviv past year.

"We are not going to allow Hezbollah to establish a terror infrastructure on the Golan capable of striking Israeli civilians", said Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, Israeli military spokesman.

Formal U.S. acceptance of Israel's territorial claim could bolster Netanyahu's re-election prospects in a closely contested race as he battles corruption allegations, which he denies. "I frankly can not imagine a situation in which the Golan Heights is not part of Israel forever", Friedman told the right-wing Israel Hayom newspaper at the time.

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