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Trump signs US recognition of Golan Heights as Israeli territory

March 26, 2019 10:25 A.M. (Updated: March 28, 2019 3:26 P.M.)
WASHINGTON (Ma'an) – The United States President Donald Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Monday, and signed a presidential proclamation officially recognizing the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

During a joint press conference, Trump said, “We do not want to see another attack like the one suffered this morning north of Tel Aviv,” adding “We will confront the poison of anti-Semitism.”

Netanyahu called Trump’s recognition a “diplomatic victory” and stressed that “Israel won the Golan Heights in a just war of defense.”

Netanyahu also thanked Trump for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018.

Last week, Trump had announced in a tweet, “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!”

The dramatic move by Trump caused international opposition due to the fact that the Golan Heights are considered, under international law, Syrian territory occupied by Israel, the same as the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The United States' recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory could pave the way for the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Palestinian territories.
It is noteworthy that Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967 and annexed the territory in 1981.

In addition, an estimate of 20,000 Israeli settlers live in over 30 illegal Israeli settlements across the Golan Heights, alongside some 25,000 Druze, who did not flee when the territory was captured by Israel.

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