US Declares West Bank and Golan No Longer “Occupied Territories”
US President Donald Trump’s State Department has called the Golan Heights “Israeli-controlled territory” in its annual human rights report for 2018, which was released this week. All previous administrations refused to recognize Israeli sovereignty on the Golan, and consistently referred to the area as “occupied territory.”
In addition, the report does not refer to the “West Bank” and Gaza Strip as “occupied” or “under occupation,” language used by all US administrations in reference to Judea and Samaria and all the territories, including Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.
Israel officially annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, though the international community has yet to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the area. Much of the Golan is populated by Druze communities who have proved to be model citizens of the Jewish nation and serve diligently to protect their adopted homeland while serving in the IDF.