Palestinian President Abbas slams US dropping 'occupied' in report

Cheryl Sanders
March 15, 2019

In a report by the State Department meant to detail data regarding human rights around the globe in 2018, the U.S. has made a decision to alter the words it uses to describe the situation in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel, opting for what seems to be more neutral language.

The language of the previous administration referred to the areas as "occupied territory".

"Frankly I don't think the Russians didn't know that this would be going on", he continued, adding that the release of the Israeli intelligence on Hezbollah's Golan project "dovetails with Israel's claims that Iranians are defying Russia's wishes and that the Iranians aren't really Assad allies, that they will continue to do their own thing".

One reporter pressed Kozak and asked him to clarify.

"We hold the Syrian regime responsible for anything that happens inside Syria aimed at Israel".

"Our policy on Golan has not changed", a spokesperson for the US embassy in Jerusalem said in a statement. That is my understanding of our current thing.

But Israeli politicians saw it as a sign that the United States will officially recognize the Golan Heights and the West Bank as sovereign Israeli territory. Thank you, President Trump, for another important step on the path of truth and justice - for the Golan Heights and for Judea and Samaria.

The Golan Heights is considered by some governments Syrian territory.

Israel captured the Golan Heights, the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war.

The Israel Defense Forces announced on Wednesday that it recently uncovered a Hezbollah terror network on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is working to change U.S. policy regarding the Golan.

In contrast with earlier reports, the new paper does not describe the Golan Heights as an "occupied" area, watering down the wording, which now says the region is "Israeli-controlled".

"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.

On Tuesday Israel's Mako news site quoted acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz as saying that a recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli would be "an appropriate and required response" to the allegations about Hezbollah's activity on the Syrian Golan. Because to give this territory up would be a strategic nightmare for the State of Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Hezbollah network unveiled on Wednesday was only the "tip of the iceberg" of what Israel knows about Iran's "aggression against Israel".

Other reports by iNewsToday