Washington (QNN)- US. President Trump said on Thursday that the United States should recognize Israel’s authority over the occupied Golan Heights, which would be a sharp U.S. policy shift decades after Israel occupied the land from Syria in the Six Day War.
Previous US administrations have treated Golan Heights as occupied Syrian territory, in line with UN security council resolutions. Trump declared his break with that policy
“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.
The tweet came as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Jerusalem. When asked about Trump’s tweet, Pompeo declined to comment.
Trump’s announcement, in a midday Twitter post, serves to recognize Israeli sovereignty over land that its troops occupied in war. It came after repeated pressure from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, which occupied the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 and effectively annexed it in 1981. The United Nations Security Council has declared that Israel must withdraw from territory acquired by force.
In an interview later Thursday afternoon with the Fox Business Network, Mr. Trump said that he had considered recognizing the territory as part of Israel “for a long time” and that his decision was not meant to boost Mr. Netanyahu’s chances in a bitter race for coming parliamentary elections.
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.