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Israel welcomes US support in UN's Golan occupation vote Open in fullscreen

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Israel welcomes US support in UN's Golan occupation vote

Israel has occupied the Golan since 1967 [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 November, 2018

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The US voted against a motion at the UN on Friday, deeming Israel's occupation of the Syrian Golan as illegal.
Israel welcomed the US' decision to break with years of consensus and vote in an annual UN resolution condemning Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights.

"I would like to thank President (Donald) Trump and Ambassador (Nikki) Haley on this important and just vote that is completely in keeping with my policy," said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the start of a cabinet meeting.

"Israel will always remain on the Golan Heights, and the Golan Heights will always remain in our hands."

The US voted against the resolution on Friday, dropping its usual policy of abstaining from the vote on the occupied Syrian territory.

The non-binding text was adopted in a General Assembly committee by a vote of 151 to 2, with the US and Israel the only two countries opposing the measure. Along with this, 14 countries abstained.

US Ambassador Haley called the resolution "useless" and "plainly biased against Israel". She said Iran's military role in Syria was a reason behind the US' opposition the measure.

Under President Donald Trump, the US has shifted even closer to Israel on key regional positions.

US ambassador to Israel David Friedman said in September that he expects the Golan Heights to remain under Israeli control "forever".

Israel seized, and later annexed, the Golan Heights from Syria in a 1967 war. Its claims to the Syrian mountainous region have not been recognised by the international community and the Golan is considered occupied territory.

The resolution declares that the Israeli decision to occupy and annex the Golan was "null and void", and calls on Israel to rescind its moves.

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