18:03 GMT25 July 2021
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    With the Syrian Army poised to flush out militants active in the Golan Heights area, Damascus is close to wrapping up its campaign to free southern Syria.

    The US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman believes that Washington could recognize the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights as part of the Jewish state, the Israeli newspaper Hayom reported.

    In an interview with the Hebrew language daily, Friedman said that he expects the Golan Heights could remain under Israeli control “forever.”

    “I cannot honestly imagine a situation in which the Golan Heights is not part of Israel forever,” Friedman said.

    “I cannot imagine a situation in which the Golan Heights is returned to Syria,” he added.

    The envoy’s statement contradicts US National Security Advisor John Bolton, who said last month that the Trump administration was not discussing any possible recognition of Israel’s annexation of the occupied Syrian territory.

    Responding to this remark, Friedman said that "it is certainly possible" that the US would recognize Israeli sovereignty, describing Bolton’s words as “simply a statement of fact.”

    “It's simply not on the list of things that are happening right now," he said.

    Friedman also dismissed the possibility that any future US administrations would reverse last year’s decision by President Donald Trump' to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Friedman’s comments came just days after the Israeli army reportedly admitted that it had been supplying large amounts of cash, weapons and ammunition to militants operating in the occupied Golan Heights.

    READ MORE: Assad Sent Secret Letter About Syria-Israel Talks on Golan Heights — Kerry

    Israel took control of the Golan Heights in 1967 after the Six-Day War. In 1981, Israel passed a law declaring its right to the territory. However, the law has never been recognized internationally. The dispute between the two countries over the territory is still unresolved.

    The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force was set up in 1974 to monitor the implementation of a ceasefire in the buffer zone.

    The demilitarization zone has been swept up in violence during the recent internal conflict in Syria, which has significantly complicated the UN mission in the area.


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    reports, US recognition, Israeli occupation, Golan Heights, UN, John Bolton, David Friedman, Israel, Syria
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