State Department updates maps, manuals to reflect Israeli control of Golan

April 19, 2019 by JNS
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The U.S. State Department has updated its maps and Foreign Affairs Manual to reflect the Trump administration’s recognition last month that the Golan Heights is part of Israel.

An old Israeli tank with a flag overlooking the Syrian town of Quneitra in the Golan Heights on Feb. 11, 2018. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.

“U.S. policy recognizes that the Golan Heights is Syrian territory, and that Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip are territories whose final status must be determined by negotiations,” the document had stated before the amendment. “The [place of birth] for applicants born in the Golan Heights is SYRIA.”

With this move, U.S. citizens born in the Golan Heights will have “Israel” listed as their place of birth on their passports.

However, despite the United States recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and relocating its embassy there from Tel Aviv the following May, Americans born in Jerusalem are still unable to list “Jerusalem, Israel” on U.S. passports.

“The president has made clear that the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem remain subject to final-status negotiations between the [Israelis and the Palestinians],” a State Department spokesperson previously told JNS. “We have not changed our practice regarding place of birth on passports or Consular Reports of Birth Abroad at this time.”


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