In remarks certain to ignite a furious response, Donald Trump has claimed “it’s time” to recognise Israel as owner of a contested region.
US President Donald Trump says that it’s time to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the contested region of Golan Heights.
In a tweet overnight, Mr Trump said that after 52 years, it’s important for the United States for fully recognise Israel’s control over what he says is an area of “critical strategic and security importance to Israel” and stability in the region, which Israel took from Syria in the 1960s and settled in 1981, a move condemned by the United Nations.
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!
Mr Trump’s tweet came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Jerusalem for an unprecedented visit to Jerusalem’s Western Wall with the Israeli Prime Minister, the highest-level American official to tour the holy site with Israel’s leader.
Reporters asked Pompeo about the issue, but he declined to answer.
Mr Netanyahu has accused Iran of attempting to set up a terrorist network to target Israel from the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967.
He has used the incident to repeat his goal of international recognition for Israel’s claim on the area.
Mr Pompeo said on Thursday he thinks it’s important and symbolic to visit the wall with the Israeli leader as a show of US support for Israel.
Senior US officials, including President Donald Trump and numerous predecessors, have visited the wall in the past but never with an Israeli leader.
Since Israel captured east Jerusalem and the Old City in 1967, US officials have avoided appearances at the Western Wall with Israeli leaders to avoid the appearance of recognising Israel’s control over the city’s most sensitive holy sites.
But that policy has been up-ended by the Trump administration.