Trump's Golan Statement Draws Strong Regional Condemnation - NBC4 Washington
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's presidency

Trump's Golan Statement Draws Strong Regional Condemnation

Israel unilaterally annexed the Golan Heights in 1981. It was not immediately clear how a U.N. peacekeeping force that is in place in the Golan might be affected by the U.S. move

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    How Weight Loss Surgery Helped a Patient Rediscover His Voice
    AP
    FILE - In this file photo dated Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, an Israeli flag in front of the village of Majdal Shams in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Syria slammed President Donald Trump's abrupt declaration that Washington will recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, saying Friday March 22, 2019, the statement was "irresponsible" and a threat to international peace and stability.

    From Syria to Turkey and beyond, President Donald Trump's abrupt declaration that Washington will recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights drew strong condemnation on Friday.

    The Syrian government called it "irresponsible" and a threat to international peace and stability, while Iran's foreign ministry said it plunges the region into a new crisis.

    The Foreign Ministry in Damascus said Trump's statement confirms "the blind bias of the United States to the Zionist entity," referring to Israel, and added that it won't change "the fact that the Golan was and will remain Arab and Syrian."

    The ministry also said Damascus is now more intent on liberating the Golan, "using every possible means."

    Golf Ball Kills 6-Year-Old

    [NATL] Golf Ball Kills 6-Year-Old

    Community members in Orem, Utah are in shock after a freak golfing accident killed a little girl. Investigators say 6-year-old Aria Hill was sitting in a golf cart next to a tee box when her father hit a ball that struck her in the back of the head.

    (Published Wednesday, July 17, 2019)

    Trump's announcement the day before was a major shift in American policy and gives Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a political boost a month before what is expected to be a close election.

    The administration has been considering recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the strategic highlands, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967, for some time and Netanyahu had pressed the matter with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week.

    Israel unilaterally annexed the Golan Heights in 1981. The U.N. Security Council resolution 497, issued after the annexation, refers to Israel as "the occupying power" and says Israel's attempt to "impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect."

    Damascus also said Trump's statement "clearly shows the U.S. disdain to the international legitimacy and violates its resolutions, especially Security Council resolution 497" while also threatening "international peace and stability."

    Syria's Foreign Ministry later announced that a letter was sent to the presidents of the U.N. Security Council and United Nations over Trump's "irresponsible and dangerous statements over the Golan." The statement urged the U.N. secretary-general to confirm the organization's stance regarding Israeli occupation of the Golan.

    Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said Trump's "personal and arbitrary decisions" plunge the region into a new crisis, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

    Prime Day Surpasses Black Friday and Cyber Monday

    [NATL] Prime Day Surpasses Black Friday and Cyber Monday Despite Protests and Strikes

    Amazon's 2019 summer blow-out sold more items than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, according to the e-commerce behemoth, despite strikes and protests scheduled to coincide with Prime Day.

    (Published Wednesday, July 17, 2019)

    Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit also criticized the American stance, saying it "comes outside the international legitimacy and no country, no matter how important it is, can make such a decision."

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Trump's "unfortunate" declaration has brought the region "to the brink of a new crisis and new tensions." 

    "We will never allow the legitimization of the occupation of the Golan Heights," Erdogan added.

    Egypt also issued a statement, saying the Golan is occupied Arab territory and calling for respect for international resolutions.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Trump's comments "can destabilize the already fragile situation in the Middle East."

    "The very idea is not helping the goals of the Middle East settlement, quite the other way round," he said. "Right now, it's merely a declaration. Let's hope it will stay this way."

    Man Who Lost 5 Family Members in Boeing Max 8 Crash: ‘I Miss Them Every Minute of Every Day’

    [NATL] Man Who Lost 5 Family Members in Boeing Max 8 Crash: ‘I Miss Them Every Minute of Every Day’

    Paul Njoroge lost five of his family members aboard the Boeing 737 Max 8 that crashed during Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March of 2019. He provided testimony in front of a House subcommittee hearing on aviation safety on Wednesday.

    (Published Wednesday, July 17, 2019)

    In Germany, government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said there was no change to Berlin's position on the Golan Heights, pointing to the 1981 U.N. resolution. She said Germany opposes "unilateral steps," but is well aware of the territory's significance to Israel.

    "A peace settlement would have to take account of Israel's very justified security interests and of course stop once and for all the potential dangers to Israel from the Golan Heights," Demmer said. "But for the present, the tensions that already exist should not be deepened."

    The U.S. will be the first country to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, which the rest of the international community regards as territory occupied by Israel whose status should be determined by negotiations between Israel and Syria. Attempts to bring Israel and Syria to the table have failed.

    It was not immediately clear how a U.N. peacekeeping force that is in place in the Golan might be affected by the U.S. move. That force's mandate expires at the end of June.

    There had been signals that a U.S. decision was coming. Last week, in its annual human rights report, the State Department dropped the phrase "Israeli-occupied" from the Golan Heights section, instead calling it "Israeli-controlled."

    ___

    Air Force Major Charged With Wife's Gruesome Murder

    [NATL] Air Force Major Charged With Wife's Gruesome Murder
    The husband of a missing San Antonio, Texas, woman was charged with murder after authorities confirmed they'd found the remains 29-year-old Andreen McDonald. The Bexar County Sheriff's Office arrested Andre McDonald, 40, just two days after authorities found a human skull and bones Thursday night. 
     
    (Published Tuesday, July 16, 2019)

    Associated Press writers Maggie Michael in Cairo; Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey; Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow, Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran; Geir Moulson in Berlin and Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed to this report.