In a move that would mark a significant shift in USA 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". "It's time that the worldwide community recognizes Israel's stay in the Golan, the fact that the Golan will always remain part of the state of Israel". "Thank you President Trump!"
"In our meetings with Administration and Capitol Hill officials there's been a clear understanding of the Golan Heights' importance to Israel's security".
"U.S. policy as it relates to the Golan Heights has been probably been one of the most consistent and long-standing positions we've had on any Arab-Israeli issue", said Scott Lasensky, former advisor to the USA ambassador to Israel under the Obama administration.
Smoke from explosions rises during fighting in the village of Jubata Al Khashab, held by Syrian rebel groups fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, as seen from the Israeli side of the border fence between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, on September 11, 2016.
Security. Israel says that the civil war in Syria demonstrates the need to keep the plateau as a buffer zone between Israeli towns and the instability of its neighbour.More news: Robert Kraft Files Motion to Stop Release of Evidence
In 2017, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and announced the move of the US Embassy there despite Palestinian aspirations to count on part of the holy city as the capital of a future independent state.
Congressional momentum has been building on Capitol Hill for the change, and the State Department last week changed its terminology for the first time on the contested territory, referring to it as "Israeli-controlled" instead of its previous usage of "Israeli-occupied". Graham often consults Trump on foreign policy matters. It was not immediately clear how a United Nations peacekeeping force in the Golan might be affected by the US move.
During his visit, Graham vowed to push for usa recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
That is a strategic 40-mile strip of land on the Syrian-Israeli border, which Israel captured during the 1967 Six-Day War. While there, he took a trip to the Golan Heights with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "You would have Iran on the shores of the Sea of Galilee". Israel occupied the Golan Heights, recognized internationally as Syrian territory, during the 1967 war. Regardless, the president's sentiment contradicts decades of US policy, undermines the legitimacy of American opposition to Putin's annexation of Crimea, and will embolden right-wing forces in Israel who have been pushing for the annexation of the West Bank (a move that would ostensibly make Israel into a de jure apartheid state).
During Thursday's visit, Pompeo placed a prayer note inside the wall.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, appearing alongside Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Thursday, hailed the move as "historic" and "bold". Pompeo is an ardent USA national security advocate and is widely considered positively disposed towards Israel.