12:20 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Golan Heights. File photo

    Trump: Time for US to Fully Recognise Israel's Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

    © AFP 2019 / JALAA MAREY
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    Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hosting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Jerusalem. Netanyahu himself was invited to visit the White House for a dinner with US President Donald Trump ahead of the 9 April election.

    "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", Trump said via Twitter.

    The tweet came during a visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Jerusalem. However, the official declined to comment on the statement when asked by reporters.

    Israel's high foreign guests often come to the greatest shrine of Judaism, but they normally do it privately and without official representatives of the Jewish state which is due to the unresolved status of the historical centre of Jerusalem. Pompeo, whose head was covered with a kippah, talked to rabbis, put a note between the wall's stones that remained from the Jewish temples destroyed in ancient times, and stood in silence, keeping his hand on the wall.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to respond to Trump's statement and thanked the US president for his support.

    Recently, speaking about the disputed territory of the Golan Heights, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran, Israel's long-term rival in the region, of establishing a terrorist network in the area.

    READ MORE: Israel Declassifies Intel on "Secret Hezbollah Group" in Syrian Golan Heights

    Voicing these claims, Netanyahu once again called on the international community to recognise the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

    READ MORE: Netanyahu Calls on Pompeo to Recognise Israel's Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

    The call was also voiced by US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who recently vowed to push the Trump administration to formally recognise the area. Last month, other American lawmakers, namely Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), together with Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI), introduced a resolution "to ensure that Israel retains control of the Golan Heights".

    The United States has been showing support for Israel both in its conflict with the Palestinians and with Syria over the Golan Heights. Thus, in a recent human rights report by the US State Department, the American side has dropped the term "occupied" when referring to the Golan Heights, changing it to "Israeli-controlled".

    READ MORE: Israel No Longer Occupies Golan Heights, US State Department Indicates

    In addition to this, in 2017, Washington recognised the city of Jerusalem, which is disputed between Israel and Palestine, as the Israeli capital, and in 2018 moved the American embassy in the country there.

    The disputed Golan Heights territory, considered by neighbouring Syria to be a part of its territory, was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. It was not until 1981 that Tel Aviv passed legislation formally annexing the area. The UN has not recognised the annexation.

    READ MORE: All Conditions Created for UN Mission Work in Golan Heights — Russian MoD

    Tags:
    sovereignty, Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, Syria, Golan Heights
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