Published: Fri, March 22, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Trump announces United States will recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights

Trump announces United States will recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights

Israeli and USA officials say they expect an announcement on US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan could come as early as Netanyahu's visit to Washington next week.

But now he did something of equal historic importance - he recognized Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and he did so at a time when Iran is trying to use Syria as a platform to attack and destroy Israel.

Netanyahu quickly expressed his thanks for Mr. Trump's tweet.

Trump's announcement came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Jerusalem, lauding warm ties with Israel and promising to step up pressure on Iran.

The administration has been considering recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967.

Earlier this month, a senior United States administration official told reporters in Washington that there was "no change in [US] outlook or our policy vis-a-vis these territories and the need for a negotiated settlement there".

Israel occupied the Golan Heights, West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Six-Day War. Thank you President Trump! Trump wrote on Twitter.

The Golan recognition is only the latest diplomatic bombshell dropped by Washington, which is Israel's main backer, in seeking to redraw the fraught Middle East map.

Israel captured east Jerusalem and the Old City in the 1967 Mideast war, and for decades, USA officials refrained from visiting the Western Wall with Israeli leaders to avoid the appearance of recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the city's most sensitive holy sites.

Greece-Cyprus-Israel summit in Jerusalem
Trump announces US will recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights

Minutes later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted his appreciation.

"And the message that President Trump has given the world is that America stands by Israel".

The premier, facing a stiff challenge from a centrist alliance in April 9 polls, will also visit Washington next week and meet with Trump twice while there.

The Golan Heights has officially been recognised as part of Syria since the country acquired independence in 1944.

Trump, whose decision past year to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv angered Palestinians, faced some criticism for his latest move.

About 20,000 Israeli settlers live in the Golan, which overlooks Syrian territory.

'Just last week we uncovered efforts by Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, to build a military network in Syria, in the Golan Heights, ' Netanyahu said during a press conference.

It later annexed the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem in moves never recognized by the global community.

"With all the joy of American recognition of the Golan Heights, it is essential to say: The "Golan in exchange for Hamastan" deal is a danger to Jewish settlements and to Israel".

Like this: