US Calls Golan ‘Israeli’-Controlled, Drops All Mention of West Bank ‘Occupation’
By Staff, Agencies
For the first time, US President Donald Trump’s administration referred to the Golan Heights on Wednesday as ‘Israeli’-controlled, ceasing to refer to the West Bank as “occupied” in the State Department’s annual report on human rights around the world.
While last year’s report marked a departure from years of American foreign policy by no longer calling the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights “occupied” in the section title, this year’s report went two small steps further.
“Authorities subjected non-‘Israeli’ citizens in Jerusalem and the ‘Israeli’-controlled Golan Heights to the same laws as ‘Israeli’ citizens,” this year’s text claimed. In previous iterations of the same report, the Golan Heights was described in the text as “Israeli-occupied.”
This year’s report also refrains from labeling any of the territories as “occupied.” In last year’s document, the US government took a position in referring to these areas. “Authorities prosecuted Palestinian non-citizens held in ‘Israel’ under ‘Israeli’ military law, a practice ‘Israel’ has applied since the 1967 occupation,” read one passage.
The new report, by contrast, uses the term “occupied” just twice — and only when quoting outside organizations, such as the ‘Israeli’ nonprofit Breaking the Silence and the United Nations.
Despite the change in language vis-a-vis the Golan Heights, an administration official on Wednesday denied that it amounted to American recognition of ‘Israeli’ sovereignty over that area.
“Our policy on Golan has not changed,” a spokesperson for the US embassy in occupied al-Quds told The Times of ‘Israel’.
Golan Heights were captured by the Zionist occupation entity from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War and extended so-called ‘Israeli’ law to the territory in 1981, a step tantamount to annexation. But the United States and the international community have long considered it Syrian territory under ‘Israeli’ occupation.