Washington: In a major boost to Israel, the United States President Donald Trump has said that it is time that the US recognizes the sovereignty of Israel over Golan Heights which was captured by Israel from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War.
Trump made the announcement in a tweet in which he said, “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!”
Following Trump’s announcement a happy Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the US President for the gesture. Netanyahu was pressing Trump to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Height and was planning to bring up the issue during his scheduled visit to the United States next week.
Nethanyahu tweeted, “At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump! @realDonaldTrump.”
The Golan Heights came into the hands of Israel from Syria during the Six-Day War in which six Islamic nations went to war against the Jewish state of Israel.
The Golan is of strategic importance to Israel because it is a vantage point to monitor any enemy movement. Besides the area is a source of water supply for the region.
Interestingly, when the region was under the Syrians, they used to shell Israeli positions using their topographical advantage. They continued bombing Israel till it fell into the hands of Israel in 1967.
The place is now home to about about 30 settlements with around 20,000 Jews living there.
Donald Trump’s announcement could lead to his ratings going higher among the pro-Israeli camp – the most influential group in United States and Trump’s base voters.
Trump’s decision will also raise the electoral prospects of Benjamin Netanyahu a hardliner and Chairman of the nationalist Likud Party in Israel. Netanyahu is due to face the elections on April 9.