What is the significance of the Golan Heights

Saul Bowman
March 23, 2019

On Thursday, Trump tweeted that, "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!".

But there had been hints that the Trump administration was heading in the direction of recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Mr Pompeo's visit added additional obstacles to peace hopes. Israel captured east Jerusalem and the Old City in the 1967 Mideast war. Which, obviously, means that it was, and that signing a presidential decree on Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights during Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit in the oval office early next week is a gift better than cigars and champagne.

"The U.S recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan makes us happy, however our daily routine does not involve dealing with whether Israeli sovereignty is being recognized or not", said Haim Rokah, head of the regional Israeli council in the Golan. The source added that Trump's statement won't change "the fact that the Golan was and will remain Arab and Syrian".

Israel says Syria's civil war, which broke out in 2011, has made the fertile plateau an all the more precious buffer protecting Israel from its unstable neighbour.

"Attempts by the U.S.to legitimize Israel's actions against worldwide law will only lead to more violence and pain in the region". And late previous year, the U.S.

Washington has recognized the Golan as Syrian territory under Israeli occupation since the 1970s, subject to a negotiated settlement between the two nations still technically at war.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered alarming views during an exclusive interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN News).

Paul Kehoe and troops

Trump, early in his administration, abandoned long-standing USA policy by moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem after recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

While previous secretaries of state have traditionally met with the Palestinians when visiting the region, Pompeo has no such talks planned.

Israeli troops took control of the volcanic plateau from Syria in the six-day war in 1967 and later annexed it, moves that were condemned by the United Nations security council and never internationally recognised.

When Trump did so, he said it did not determine the city's eventual borders, but Palestinians viewed the US action as tipping the scales toward Israeli control and cut ties with the U.S. The Jewish people are spread across the world, and even if the worst should happen and Iran wiped Israel from the face of the Earth, the Jews would survive. "They're going to fail again", Netanyahu said. "Period. Full stop", Pompeo said in Jerusalem on Thursday.

"Now we need Congress to codify this policy", Neil Strauss, the digital director for the Republican Jewish Coalition, told Al-Monitor.

The remarks by Mr Pompeo, and the Golan announcement by Mr Trump, come just weeks before Israeli elections are held on 9 April.

Mr. Netanyahu thanked Mr. Trump for the Golan Heights gesture.

Washington seems to be eager to once again blatantly violate global law, only to allegedly rig polls in another state in favor of one man - the Israeli prime minister, analysts believe.

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