‘We all found out by tweet’: Trump’s Golan Heights surprise

Posted March 22, 2019

Many of the Golan Druze continue to swear loyalty to Syria, partly out of fear that if the Golan were ever returned to Damascus they could face reprisals from the Assad regime if they were seen to have collaborated with Israel.

"Turkey supports Syria's territorial integrity", he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Trump's statement by thanking the USA president for his support.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, wrote on Twitter that he supported recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and that he and Sen.

Syria has consistently sought to regain sovereignty over the region.

On Wednesday, Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Pompeo appeared together to offer remarks to reporters following a one-on-one meeting in the prime minister's compound in Jerusalem.

The Golan Heights is a strategic plateau straddling Israel and Syria and overlooking southern Lebanon.

Israel captured much of the Golan from Syria in a 1967 war and annexed it, a move not endorsed internationally.

"Thank you President Trump", Netanyahu subsequently said in a tweet.

The move comes weeks before Israeli general elections and reverses the position US administrations have held for decades.

"President Trump has just made history".

Netanyahu is battling for his political survival against both a strong challenger in centrist candidate Benny Gantz and against plans by Israel's attorney-general to indict the prime minister, now in his fourth term, in three corruption cases. But now he did something of equal historic importance - he recognized Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and he did so at a time when Iran is trying to use Syria as a platform to attack and destroy Israel.

The United States had foreshadowed the decision last week when the State Department issued its annual human rights report The report revised its usual description of the Golan Heights from "Israeli-occupied" to "Israeli-controlled".

Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat panned the Golan announcement and said US policy would bring "bloodshed in our region".

Donald Trump became the first sitting American president to visit the wall, the holiest site where Jews are allowed to pray, during his trip in May 2017.

Officials waved away any concerns about Israel's elections, the official said.

After Israel first seized the Golan Heights in 1967, Israeli citizens nearly immediately began settling in the area. It folded that job into the US embassy to Israel.

The UN Security Council then passed a resolution declaring 'that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without global legal effect'.

He recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and the Trump administration moved the US embassy to Jerusalem in May.

'I think, for this reason, and many more, it is time that the worldwide community recognises Israel's stay on the Golan, and the fact that the Golan will always remain part of the State of Israel'. Those states, however, have long rejected Israel's annexation of the Golan.