Donald Trump says it is time for US to acknowledge ‘Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights’
“After 52 years it’s time for the US to totally acknowledge Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of important strategic and safety significance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability,” Trump tweeted.
The announcement arms Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a big international coverage victory, lower than three weeks earlier than Israelis head to the polls to resolve whether or not he ought to stay in energy. The transfer comes simply days earlier than Netanyahu is about to affix Trump on the White Home and follows weeks throughout which Netanyahu has renewed his push for the US to acknowledge the Golan Heights as a part of Israel.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria throughout the Six-Day Struggle of 1967 and formally annexed the territory in 1981. However that annexation has not been acknowledged by the worldwide neighborhood, which has regarded the Golan Heights as occupied territory and Israeli settlements there as unlawful beneath worldwide legislation.
Trump enjoys sky-high approval scores in Israel, and his embrace of Netanyahu so near the elections, coupled with delivering a long-sought recognition, may impression the end result of the Israeli election.
Netanyahu shortly took to Twitter to thank Trump, tweeting: “At a time when Iran seeks to make use of Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly acknowledges Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thanks President Trump! @realDonaldTrump.”
In a brief telephone name between the 2 leaders, Netanyahu informed Trump, “You made historical past,” based on a readout of the decision supplied by the Prime Minister‘s Workplace.
It was not clear if the White Home would launch extra data or specifics in regards to the transfer to acknowledge the Golan Heights as a part of Israel past Trump’s tweet.
Former US Protection Secretary Leon Panetta, who served beneath President Barack Obama, stated the transfer “raises loads of concern” and stated it’s tough to not see this as an try to buttress Netanyahu’s possibilities of remaining prime minister.
“It is laborious to not put two and two collectively,” Panetta stated on Newpaper24. “The President has made clear his assist for Netanyahu.”
Resolution has been constructing
Trump’s resolution has been increase for a number of weeks now, a senior administration official tells Newpaper24.
The US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina visited the Israeli-occupied territory earlier this month with the Prime Minister, an early signal that Trump was gearing as much as acknowledge Israel’s sovereignty over the territory.
However the ultimate resolution got here this week as Trump held a number of conferences together with his senior workers, this official stated.
Nationwide safety adviser John Bolton, senior adviser Jared Kushner and particular consultant for worldwide negotiations Jason Greenblatt have been consulted and supported the transfer, the official stated.
“There is not any apparent constituency not to do that,” the official stated, defending the transfer.
The official declined to handle whether or not there had been any consideration of the impression this might have on the Israeli elections.
The choice is the most recent controversial unilateral transfer that Trump has taken vis-a-vis Israel, bucking longstanding US coverage.
In December 2017, Trump acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and he moved the US Embassy to the holy metropolis final 12 months.
The US had beforehand maintained an embassy in Tel Aviv and has for years maintained that Jerusalem’s standing can be determined solely as a part of a broader Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.
A European diplomat based mostly within the area informed Newpaper24 that Trump’s announcement Thursday is an extra reflection of the administration’s readiness to fulfill Israel’s calls for.
It’s “additional proof that the Trump administration is keen to disregard worldwide legislation in an effort to fulfill Israeli calls for, together with Safety Council resolutions supported by previous administrations,” the diplomat informed Newpaper24.
Newpaper24’s Andrew Carey and Oren Liebermann contributed to this report.