INTRODUCTION: The Israeli decision to formally annexe the occupied Golan Heights on Monday (14 December) has angered Arab states, and the Palestinians, as well as causing concern in Washington.
SV Ziad Abdel Fatah, Head of Palestinian News Agency speaking
GV News conference and U.S. spokesman Alan Romberg at dais (MUTE)
SV Romberg speaking
FATAH:"The decision of the Israeli government to annexe the occupied Syrian Heights to the Zionist state, and to put them under their law, underlines, once more, that the Israeli expansion does not limit itself to Palestine but reaches Arab territories from the Euphrates to the Nile. It is clear that the decision is linked directly to the Strategic Cooperation Agreement ratified recently between Israel and the United States. This agreement has encouraged Israel in the last step and will further encourage Israel in more annexation."
ROMBERG: "We would be deeply concerned and would oppose any effort to change the status of the Golan unilaterally. Our view has been, and remain, that any unilateral charge in the status of the Golan Heights, or any of the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 war, will be contrary to UN. Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 on which the Camp David accords, and all Middle East peace negotiations since 1967, have been based. It would violate international law related to belligerent occupation."
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The Israeli decision to formally annexe the occupied Golan Heights on Monday (14 December) has angered Arab states, and the Palestinians, as well as causing concern in Washington. Israel captured the mountainous region from Syria during the 1967 Middle East war but its occupation has ever been recognised by the Arab world. The Palestinians regard the annexation as evidence of Israel's overall territorial ambitions as the head of their news agency, Ziad Abdel Fatah, explained in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
SYNOPSIS: However, the United States government appeared taken by surprise. Spokesman Alan Romberg in Washington.