President Trump continues to surprise (and impress) many, and he’s done it again today in a surprise move announcing that it’s high time to recognize Israel’s control and sovereignty over the Golan Heights region.
The President tweeted about it earlier today and appeared to catch the whole world off-guard, with even Mike Pompeo not briefed on the policy.
His Tweet is below, and then scroll down for more explanation and video.
Check it out:
Here's more on the story, from The Hill:
President Trump on Thursday said the U.S. should recognize Israeli control of the disputed Golan Heights territory, delivering a diplomatic win for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of a tough reelection race.
“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” Trump tweeted.
Trump wrote that the territory, which is located between Israel and Syria, “is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”
The announcement came days before Trump was scheduled to meet at the White House with Netanyahu, who has repeatedly urged top U.S. officials to make the move.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is visiting Jerusalem, earlier Thursday would not directly answer reporters who asked if the change was coming, but said “it wasn’t a mistake” the Golan was not listed as “occupied territory” in the U.S.’s annual human rights report, a reversal of past protocol.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed the territory in 1981, a move that was not formally recognized by the U.S. and other nations who said its permanent status should be determined through negotiations.
The Golan has long been a contentious issue in peace talks between Israel, Syria and other neighboring countries. Israel views the territory as a key buffer to protect itself from Hezbollah, a militant Islamist group based in Lebanon; Iranian-backed militias and other militant groups, but Syria believes it is the rightful owner of the territory.
Netanyahu is facing multiple corruption indictments that have hampered his efforts to win another term, with Election Day looming in just over two weeks.
The Israeli leader’s visit to Washington is seen as an effort to bolster his election chances, since Trump remains extremely popular in Israel, and an official announcement regarding the U.S. stance toward the Golan could give him a further boost.
Trump has earned plaudits from Netanyahu for moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal brokered by former President Obama.
And this, from CNN:
President Donald Trump on Thursday overturned longstanding US policy regarding the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, announcing "it is time" for the US to "fully recognize Israel's sovereignty" over the region.
"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 tweeted.
The announcement hands Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a significant foreign policy victory, less than three weeks before Israelis head to the polls to decide whether he should remain in power. The move comes just days before Netanyahu is set to join Trump at the White House and follows weeks during which Netanyahu has renewed his push for the US to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967 and formally annexed the territory in 1981. But that annexation has not been recognized by the international community, which has regarded the Golan Heights as occupied territory and Israeli settlements there as illegal under international law.
Trump enjoys sky-high approval ratings in Israel, and his embrace of Netanyahu so close to the elections, coupled with delivering a long-sought recognition, could impact the outcome of the Israeli election.
Please limit to only one per person:
Please limit one per person.