The United States rejected a resolution of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly that seeks to end Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights, on Friday.
During the assembly's Third Committee meeting, 150 countries approved the “Occupied Syrian Golan” resolution. Unlike previous years, the United States did not abstain but, instead, voted against the document.
"The United States will no longer abstain when the United Nations engages in its useless annual vote on the Golan Heights. If this resolution ever made sense, it surely does not today. The resolution is plainly biased against Israel. Further, the atrocities the Syrian regime continues to commit prove its lack of fitness to govern anyone.
"The destructive influence of the Iranian regime inside Syria presents major threats to international security. ISIS and other terrorist groups remain in Syria. And this resolution does nothing to bring any parties closer to a peace agreement. The United States will vote no,” Nikki Haley, outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said.
Haley's comments came after U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman said, in September, that he expected Israel to keep the Golan Heights in perpetuity.
Since the beginning of the Donald Trump Administration, Israel has sought official support – from the United States – for control of the Occupied Territories.
The Golan Heights is 1,200-square-kilometers territory located between Israel and Syria. During the 1967 Arab-Israel War, the Israeli Army occupied that plateau by force; later, in 1981, Israel formally annexed occupied land to its territory.
In the same year, however, the UN Security Council, by Resolution 497, unanimously adopted, declared that Israel's decision to incorporate the Golan Heights into its territory was "null and void."
Since then, the member countries of the United Nations have pronounced themselves annually through multilateral resolutions that call on Israel to rescind its authority in the Golan Heights.
With regard to this year's votation, the Syrian ambassador to the UN, Bashar al Jaafari, said that the support of 150 countries is a clear message that the occupation is inadmissible and violates the UN Chart.
"All attempts to Judaize the territory of the occupied Syrian Golan will end in failure," the ambassador said, recalling all the resolutions issued on the matter since 1967.
"The United States, with its vote, tries to immunize Israel against any accountability for crimes committed over decades; and participates in the plundering of the Golan's resources through its oil exploration companies," said Jaafari.