US President Donald Trump said on Thursday it was time to back Israeli sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, an announcement that signals a shift in US policy and comes before the Israeli prime minister’s planned visit next week to the White House.
“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!” Trump tweeted, without providing any other details.
His tweet came as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Jerusalem. When asked about Trump’s tweet, Pompeo declined to comment.
Minutes after Trump made the announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted his appreciation. “At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump!”
He added that Trump “made history” with his announcement.
“You could imagine what would have happened if Israel were not in the Golan,” the Israeli prime minister said. “You would have Iran on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.”
Richard Haass, a former senior State Department official who is president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said in a tweet he strongly disagreed with Trump’s Golan decision.
He said the move violates UN Security Council resolution 242, “which rules out acquiring territory by war and serves Israel as it says all states have right 2 live in peace.” Al Jazeera News.