ARAB CONDEMN U.S MOVE ON GOLAN
01, Apr 2019
Prelims level : International Relation Mains level : GS II - Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.
Why in News:
- Arab leaders, long divided by regional rivalries, condemned U.S decision recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
- -U. S President recently said that the U.S should back Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, seized from Syria since 1967.
- The Golan height is a hilly plateau that overlooks Lebanon and borders Syria. There was a dispute between Israel and Syria since 1967.
- Half of the Golan heights residents are Druze residents.
U.S Role in Golan Heights:
- In December 2017, Trump decided to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the US Embassy to the city.
- This was welcomed by the Israel but was offensive to Palestinians and many Arab political and religious leaders.
- The Golan announcement now much reflects the Jerusalem decision
- This is likely to further complicate trump’s long-awaited plan to resolve the Israel- Palestinian conflict.
Why is Golan area is contentious?
- The Golan Heights were part of Syria until 1967.
- In 1967, Israel captured most of the area in the Six Day War, occupying it and annexing it in 1981.
- After annexing the Golan, Israel gave the Druze the option of citizenship, but most rejected it and still identify them as Syrians.
- About another 20,000 Israeli settlers also live there, many of them working in farming and tourism.
- The unilateral annexation by Israel was not recognised internationally, and Syria demands the return of the territory.
- Syria tried to regain the Heights in the 1973 Middle East war, but the effort was thwarted. Israel and Syria signed a peace agreement in 1974 and the Golan had been relatively quiet since. In 2000, Israel and Syria held their highest-level talks over a possible return of the Golan and a peace agreement.
- But the negotiations collapsed and subsequent talks also failed.
Who is Druze:
- They are Arab minority who practice an offshoot of Islam.
- Golan heights (Israel) borders Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
Importance of Golan Heights:
- Golan It provides strategic Heights area is the key source of water for Israel. The Soil of Golan Heights is so fertile that it is useful to cultivate Vine yards and Orchar.