Trump tweets that Israel should have sovereignty over Golan Heights

Greece-Cyprus-Israel summit in Jerusalem

Greece-Cyprus-Israel summit in Jerusalem

Pompeo suggested that his own visit as the top USA diplomat in Netanyahu's presence was significant.

The disputed area was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in 1981 in a move not recognized internationally. Days later the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution that condemned the move, adding to its resolution 242 of 1967 that called for the removal of Israeli forces from its recently conquered territory during the Six-Day War.

The global community considers the Golan to be occupied territory, and Syria has demanded its return as a condition for any future peace agreement.

At the meeting, the two men discussed the buildup of Hezbollah terror networks along Israel's northern border with Syria on the Golan Heights.

Many are ascribing the decision to reelection hopes, of both Netanyahu and Trump.

Although Israel signalled that it would not impede the Syrian army's return to Quneitra, it has repeatedly expressed concern that Assad may defy the United Nations armistice, or let his Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah allies deploy there. The move comes weeks before Israeli general elections and reverses the position USA administrations have held for decades.

The Golan recognition is only the latest diplomatic bombshell dropped by Washington, which is Israel's principal backer, in seeking to redraw the fraught Middle East map.

Netanyahu had previously urged top United States officials to make the declaration and he is expected to meet with Trump at the White House in the coming days.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showcased his close relationship with the Trump administration on Wednesday, hosting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo three weeks before an Israeli election.

Golan Heights map
The Latest: Israel thanks Trump for Golan remarks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a new interview it is "possible" God sent President Donald Trump to save the Jewish people from Iran.

UN Security Council resolution 497, adopted unanimously in 1981, declared Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights "null and void and without worldwide legal effect". Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, a move not recognized by most of the worldwide community.

"At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, @POTUS Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights".

Indeed, Thursday's tweet is the latest example of Trump showing a blatant disregard for worldwide norms and institutions in favour of Israel.

That's nice, but we prefer to exist in actual reality, and anyway the United States makes our own decisions with respect to issues of sovereignty.

Richard Haass, a former senior State Department official who is president of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote on Twitter that he strongly disagreed with Trump's Golan decision. "It was done knowingly and we believe we have the most factual actual description that was appropriate for the report".

Eugene Kontorovich, a professor of worldwide law at George Mason University in Washington, D.C., and director of global law at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum, told Fox News the resolution, "is not binding and has no legal force; it was merely a statement of the Council's opinion".

"The message that President Trump has given the world is that America stands by Israel", he said in a statement.

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