In a move that would mark a significant shift in US policy, President Trump announced that “after 52 years, it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”
His statement of intent on the strategic plateau Israel seized in the 1967 Six-Day War came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Jerusalem and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Western Wall in the city’s Israeli-annexed eastern sector.
In a joint press conference with Pompeo, minutes after Trump’s announcement, Netanyahu thanked the US president for his support on behalf of the people of Israel.
“President Trump has just made history, I called him, and I thanked him on behalf of the people of Israel. He did it again. First, he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US embassy here. Then, he pulled out of the disastrous Iran treaty and re-imposed sanctions. But now he did something of equal historical importance: he recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” he said.
The recognition of the disputed area, seized by Israel in the Middle East war of 1967, would boost Netanyahu in the middle of his re-election campaign.
Netanyahu believes that Trump’s decision came at a crucial time “when Iran is trying to use Syria as a platform to attack and destroy Israel.”