Q : With respect to the Golan Heights, U.S. President Donald Trump just announced that the time has come to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, “which is of critical strategic and security importance to the state of Israel and regional stability.” Does this analysis make sense and will such a pronouncement, following the U.S. rebuttal of a negotiated peace with respect to the status of Jerusalem, trigger a French diplomatic response on behalf of France alone, France at the EU or France at the UN?
A : The Golan Heights is a territory that has been occupied by Israel since 1967. France does not recognize the Israeli annexation of 1981. This situation has been recognized as null and void by several UN Security Council resolutions, notably UNSCR 497.
The recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, an occupied territory, would be contrary to international law, in particular the obligation for states not to recognize an illegal situation.