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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

UN Security Council rejects Israel’s PM claim to the Golan Heights.

UN Security Council rejects Israel’s PM claim to the Golan Heights. (INN).

UNSC rebuffs PM's declaration that Golan Heights will remain part of Israel 'forever' - but with a relatively tame statement.

The UN Security Council on Tuesday issued a rejection of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's assertion that the Golan Heights would remain part of Israel "forever," but did not go as far in denying Israeli claims as Arab states had demanded.

The The 15-member council agreed that the status of the Golan, which Israel liberated from Syria control in 1967, "remains unchanged," said Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi, who holds this month's council presidency.

Liu recalled a 1981 resolution which states that Israel's "decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights was nul and void and without any international legal effect."

The council statement followed remarks made by Netanyahu earlier this month when his cabinet held its first meeting in the Golan.

Council members "expressed deep concern" over the Israeli statements and "stressed that the status of the Golan remains unchanged," said Liu. The Arab League and the European Union have also criticized Netanyahu over the remarks.

Notably, however, the Security Council resolution stopped short of any drastic statements such as a call for Israel to withdraw from the 1,200 square kilometer (460 square mile) region, despite pressure from Arab states to do so.

The Golan's once-thriving ancient Jewish community was wiped out by the Arab conquest in 636 CE, but since 1967 has seen a major revival, with dozens of thriving Jewish communities. Read the full story here.

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