Trump set to sign official paper declaring Israeli sovereignty over Golan

Trump's announcement marked a dramatic shift in US policy and gave a boost to Netanyahu, who is in a closely contested race in the April 9 election.

By ALON EINHORN
March 22, 2019 23:15
1 minute read.
Netanyahu Trump

Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump speaking at the U.N. Security Council, Spetember 26th, 2018. (photo credit: GPO PHOTO DEPARTMENT)

 
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US officials are preparing an official document that would recognize the Golan Heights as a sovereign Israeli territory, which US President Donald Trump is likely to sign next week, Reuters reported on Friday.

The document echoes Trump's remarks made on Thursday when he said that "it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights."

Trump is likely to sign the presidential document when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Washington on Monday, Reuters reported.

The first steps that led to the change in policy were hinted at a human rights report published by the State Department, where the Golan Heights were not regarded to as "occupied territory."

The Golan Heights area was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in 1981 in a move not recognized internationally. Netanyahu has pressed the United States to recognize its claim and raised that possibility in his first White House meeting with Trump in February 2017.

Trump had already clarified that he is not endorsing Netanyahu or any candidate for the Israeli elections; However, it is clear that the main benefactor of Trump's announcement, and now official document to be, would be Netanyahu.

Although Trump had already made his statements, the international community was not so quick to join the Israeli Golan wagon, as the United Nations Human Rights Council voted against the Israeli "occupation" of the Golan Heights on Friday.

Britain claimed on Friday it has no plans to change it stance on the Golan Heights, as France joined in to claim that the Israeli annexation of the Golan breaks international law.

The statements also drew criticism from the Arab league nation as well as from Syria who vowed to recover the Golan Heights.

Reuters contributed to the report.

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