WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Monday ‘legitimize’ Israeli occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights.
The US President in a dramatic shift in US policy on Golan Heights signed a proclamation recognising Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, Trump made formal a move he announced in a tweet last week. The president said it was time for the US to take the step after 52 years of Israeli control of the strategic highlands on the border with Syria.
Netanyahu had pressed for such recognition for months. Trump’s action gives him a political boost weeks before what’s expected to be a close Israeli election.
Israel captured the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war but its sovereignty over the territory is not recognised by the international community.
“Today, aggressive action by Iran and terrorist groups in southern Syria, including Hezbollah, continue to make the Golan Heights a potential launching ground for attacks against Israel very violent attacks,” Trump said.
“This should have been done numerous presidents ago,” he added.
The two leaders met as the Israeli military was striking Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to a rocket that hit a house north of Tel Aviv and wounded seven people.