US no longer refers to Golan as ‘Israel-occupied’ | 2019-03-15 | daily-sun.com

US no longer refers to Golan as ‘Israel-occupied’

15 March, 2019 12:00 AM printer

WASHINGTON: The US no longer refers to the Golan Heights as an “Israeli-occupied” territory in its latest annual human rights report, published Wednesday, though the State Department insists the wording change doesn’t mean a policy change, reports AFP.

The report now calls the area the “Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.” When asked about the change on such a sensitive Middle East subject, a senior US official told reporters in Washington “there’s no change in our outlook or our policy vis-a-vis these territories and the need for a negotiated settlement there.”

“This, by the way, is not a human rights issue, it’s a legal status issue,” said Michael Kozak of the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

“What we try to do is to report on the human rights situation in those territories, and so you’re just trying to find the way of describing the place that you’re reporting on,” he said. “And ‘occupied territory’ has a legal meaning to it; I think what they tried to do is to shift more to just a geographic description.”


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