10:39 GMT +321 October 2018
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    A Israeli soldier patrols near the border with Syria after projectiles fired from the war-torn country hit the Israeli occupied Golan Heights on June 24, 2017

    US Congressman Calls for Recognition of Golan Heights as Israeli Territory

    © AFP 2018 / JALAA MAREY
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    President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has created a whole new situation in the region.

    Just a week after the opening of the US embassy in Israel in Jerusalem, a US congressman is calling for Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights to also be recognized.

    Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis believes that although the move would be largely symbolic, it could encourage the White House to take a position on the sensitive issue.

    In an interview with the Walla news website published Sunday, DeSantis said that he had brought the proposal before the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs.

    The congressman believes that by recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the US would make it clear that it will never force Jerusalem to relinquish the territory.

    Israel captured the Golan Heights during the Six-Day War of 1967 from the Syrians, who had used its hills to routinely shell Israeli settlements in the Galilee.

    The Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights in 1981 has not been recognized by the international community, including the United States, which regards the area as occupied territory.

    Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December and the subsequent relocation of the US embassy have been widely criticized around the world, with the longstanding international position being that Jerusalem’s status should only be recognized as part of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

    READ MORE: Syria Will Never Agree to Israeli 'Occupation' of Golan Heights — Envoy to UN

    The move has also led to widespread anger in the Arab world and to violent Palestinian protests.

    The US embassy’s opening on May 14 was marred by violent protests along Israel's border with Gaza, with a total of 60 Palestinians killed and more than 2,000 injured in clashes with Israeli security forces.

    Related:

    Syria Will Never Agree to Israeli 'Occupation' of Golan Heights – Envoy to UN
    Attacks on Syria Could Be Prelude to Military Conflict in Golan Heights - Journo
    Tags:
    Israeli sovereignty, US Congressman, Golan Heights, proposal, US Congress, Ron DeSantis, United States, Middle East
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