Syria appeals to UN Security Council on Golan Heights

Syria asked the UN Security Council yesterday to hold an urgent meeting on the US decision to recognise the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

Donald Trump signed a proclamation on Tuesday in which the US recognised Israel’s annexa­tion of the strategic plateau despite­ UN resolutions calling for Israel’s withdrawal from the Golan.

The diplomatic appeal came as the Israeli army bombed targets in the Gaza Strip and bolstered its forces along the frontier as a truce with the territory’s Hamas rulers showed signs of unravelling.

Palestinian militants responded with a new barrage of rocket fire, setting the stage for a fresh round of fighting before Israel’s national elections on April 9.

The violence is likely to become a major theme in the final stretch of a tight re-election campaign for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He cut short a visit to the US and rushed back to ­Israel to deal with the crisis.

After meeting with the Prime Minister, military chief Aviv Kohavi­ ordere­d an additional troop build-up along the border.

Mr Netanyahu had been scheduled to give a speech in Washington to the American Israel­ Public Affairs Committee. Instead, he addressed the group by satellite, telling it that over the previous 24 hours Israel had pounded militant sites in Gaza on a scale not seen since a 2014 war with Hamas.

“I can tell you, we are prepared to do a lot more,” he said. “We will do what is necessary to defend our people and to defend our state.”

Read the article in The Australian (AP/AFP).