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U.S. to vote "No" for first time on UN Golan resolution

U.S. to vote

The US has, for the first time, endorsed the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights by voting against an annual United Nations resolution that condemned the occupation and was unanimously approved along with several other resolutions against Tel Aviv.

In fact, the UN General Assembly Special Political and Decolonization Committee - known as the Fourth Committee - is set to adopt nine resolutions on Friday against Israel, zero against any other nation.

In early September, the Israeli newspaper Hayom cited the US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman as saying that he believes that Washington could recognise the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights as part of the Jewish state. "Further, the atrocities the Syrian regime continues to commit prove its lack of fitness to govern anyone", she said in a statement.

In August, US National Security Adviser John Bolton told Reuters that the White House was not discussing recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan.

Israel has reportedly pressed the White House in recent months to recognize the Golan annexation, arguing that the bloody civil war in Syria undergirded Israeli claims that the plateau is critical to maintaining security.

The presence of Iranian military forces in Syria, seen as legitimate by Russian Federation after Damascus "invited" them in, is viewed as a dire military threat by Israel that could embolden the Syrian government and Lebanese militants Hezbollah.

"The United States will no longer abstain when the United Nations engages in its useless annual vote on the Golan Heights".

The US announced its changed policy ahead of the vote on "The Occupied Syrian Golan" resolution.

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The outgoing US ambassador to the United Nations announced her country's decision in a statement Thursday about a General Assembly vote scheduled for Friday. "The other argument is Israel has effectively solidified control over the Golan and there is no going back, regardless of what happens in Syria", he said.

According to Schanzer, a number of justifications have been put out there regarding altering USA policy on the Golan.

"I thank Ambassador Haley for her continued steadfastness with Israel and the truth".

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan also commented on Twitter: "The Golan is part of Israel and it will always be".

"It is time the world distinguishes those who stabilise the region from those who sow terror", he said, in a message that Haley retweeted.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and has continued to occupy two-thirds of the strategically-important territory ever since, in a move that has never been recognized by the worldwide community.

On Friday, Dannon was defiant and told the committee that Israel will not withdraw from the area: "Israel will not withdraw from the Golan Heights, it is time the global community accepts it".

The UN also passed eight other measures which range from condemnations of Israeli construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank to renewing the mandate of a UN committee probing "Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories".