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Sunday, 05/12/2019 2:59:43 PM

Sunday, May 12, 2019 2:59:43 PM

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Since the 1967 Six-Day War, the western two-thirds of the Golan Heights has been occupied and administered by Israel,whereas the eastern third remains under control of the Syrian Arab Republic. Construction of Israeli settlements began in the remainder of the territory held by Israel, which was under military administration until Israel passed the Golan Heights Law extending Israeli civil law and administration throughout the territory in 1981. This move was condemned by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 497,which stated that "the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect", and Resolution 242, which emphasises "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war". Israel maintains it has a right to retain the Golan, also citing the text of UN Resolution 242, which calls for "safe and recognised boundaries free from threats or acts of force".

After the onset of the Syrian Civil War, control of the Syrian-administered part of the Golan Heights was split between the government and opposition forces, with the UNDOF maintaining a 266 km2 (103 sq mi) buffer zone in between, to implement the ceasefire of the Purple Line. From 2012 to 2018, the eastern Golan Heights became a scene of repeated battles between the Syrian Arab Army, rebel factions of the Syrian opposition including the moderate Southern Front, jihadist al-Nusra Front, and ISIL-affiliated factions. In July 2018, the Syrian government regained control of the eastern Golan Heights.

On March 25, 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump proclaimed that "the United States recognizes that the Golan Heights are part of the State of Israel", making the United States the first and only country to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the effectively annexed regions of the Golan Heights
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