Lebanon Fears for Disputed Territory With Israel After Trump's Golan Recognition

Despite withdrawing from Lebanon in 2000, Israel remained in control over the strategic areas of Shebaa Farms and adjacent Kfar Shouba hills it seized alongside Golan in 1967

File Photo: U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, March 25, 2019.
AFP

Lebanon's president says U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights undermines Lebanon's claim to disputed territory also annexed by Israel.

Michel Aoun spoke Tuesday during a press conference with visiting Bulgarian President Rumen Radev.

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Arab countries unanimously rejected the recent U.S. recognition of Israeli control over the Golan, seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in 1981, calling the Trump administration's policies unfairly biased toward Israel.

But for Lebanon, there are fears over its claim to the Shebaa Farms and adjacent Kfar Shouba hills, which Israel seized alongside Golan in 1967.

Israel had occupied south Lebanon, but despite withdrawing in 2000, remained in these strategic areas. The UN, which doesn't recognize Israel's sovereignty over Golan, has said Lebanon's claim is to be settled with the Golan's fate.

U.S. President Donald Trump met in March with Prime Minister Benjamin to sign a presidential proclamation officially recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, thus formalizing a move announced with a tweet earlier that month. 

Netanyahu called Trump's decision to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights "historic justice" and a "diplomatic victory," saying that "Israel won the Golan Heights in a just war of defense."

The move by Trump caused an instant international uproar of protests: under international law, the Golan Heights are considered to be Syrian territory occupied by Israel, like East Jerusalem and the West Bank.