Published: Fri, March 22, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Donald Trump to recognise Israel sovereignty over Golan Heights

Donald Trump to recognise Israel sovereignty over Golan Heights

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.

Trump has consistently backed Israel when it comes to major regional disputes and previous year sparked controversy and outrage among Palestinians and others when he moved the United States embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem and said the United States officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"We have a specific position, based on resolutions, on this issue", Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said according the Russian Sputnik news agency.

Syria, on the other hand, has sought to regain its sovereignty over the region. -Israeli ties under Trump, a leader with whom the prime minister has featured on election billboards.

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

Israel occupied east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the global community.

The moved faced some criticism from within the USA with Leon Panetta a veteran Democrat who served as Central Intelligence Agency director and defense secretary, among other roles, blasting Trump for "tweeting out another policy that obviously has not been worked out with our worldwide partners".

WATCH: Netanyahu discusses Israeli sovereignty in Golan Heights with U.S.

Greece-Cyprus-Israel summit in Jerusalem

Netanyahu also put out a tweet welcoming Trump's statement.

Trump's top aides had bristled at Israeli requests for the United States to recognize Israel's control over the Golan Heights just past year, frustrated they would seek yet another major policy change on the heels of Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. While Pompeo said this was "not a change in US policy", he said that the language used in the Human Rights Report was used "with great intentionality".

"President Trump made a bold decision to recognize that, an important decision to the people of Israel", Pompeo said.

"Tonight, President Trump made the decision to recognize that that hard-fought real estate, that important place, is proper to be a sovereign part of the state of Israel", he said.

In a press conference with Pompeo, Netanyahu accused Iran of trying to set a terrorist network to target Israel in the Golan Heights.

Pressure on Iran, Netanyahu said, must be intensified now that the US has reimposed sanctions on Tehran following Washington's withdrawal from a 2015 deal with world powers to limit the Iranian nuclear program. But little more than a statement from the president or secretary of state is necessary to secure the major US policy shift. 'All of you can imagine what would have happened if Israel were not in the Golan: We would have Iran on the shores of the Sea of Galilee'.

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'.

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