Time for United States to recognise Israeli sovereignty over Golan

Time for United States to recognise Israeli sovereignty over Golan

Kerry Wise
March 22, 2019

However on Thursday US President Donald Trump attempted to change that, by tweeting that Washington should "fully recognize Israel's Sovereignty over the Golan Heights". Trump declared his break with that policy in a 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.

Pompeo praised Trump as well, and added: "The people of Israel should know that the battles they fought and the lives they lost on that very ground [the Golan] were important and worthy".

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 war.

Earlier this month, a senior USA 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". Last week, in its annual human rights report, the State Department dropped the phrase "Israeli-occupied" from the Golan Heights section, instead calling it "Israeli-controlled". "Thank you, Mr. President", he said. The official prime minister's Twitter page wrote.

The White House meanwhile announced that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be welcomed in Washington over two days next week with Israel just two weeks from the April 9 polls. "It is in the hands of Israel and will always remain in the hands of Israel", he said at the time.

"Attempts by the U.S.to legitimize Israel's actions against global law will only lead to more violence and pain in the region", Çavuşoğlu wrote in a tweet.

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But his advisers have been signaling to Democratic operatives in Iowa and New Hampshire that the former vice president is ready to make the leap, likely in early April.

Hosting Pompeo at his office, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri "cannot say to anyone that Lebanon is separate from Hezbollah" - a reference to the group's clout in Beirut where it has ministers in the coalition cabinet as well as lawmakers in parliament.

"We need to increase it, we need to expand it, and together the United States and Israel are working in close coordination to roll back Iranian aggression in the region and around the world", the premier told journalists after Pompeo arrived.

In a speech broadcast on the Persian New Year on Thursday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Islamic Republic had successfully resisted "unprecedented, strong" USA sanctions.

Netanyahu is one of Trump's strongest backers on the global stage.

FILE PHOTO: A couple look towards signs pointing out distances to different cities, at an observation post in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, January 21, 2019.

The Golan is recognised as part of Syria by the United Nations.

Trump's latest shakeup comes ahead of the expected unveiling of a White House plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace.