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US may recognize israel’s annexation of Golan Heights within months: Minister

24 May 2018 14:05

 

Emboldened by the American embassy’s recent relocation to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, Tel Aviv is now pressing the US administration to recognize the occupied side of Syria’s Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters on Wednesday, Yisrael Katz, Israel’s intelligence minister, said the subject is “topping the agenda” in talks with Washington, which has already recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Palestinian city.

He also claimed that America’s recognition of Israel’s annexation of occupied Golan would serve as a message of warning to Iran and bolster the latest wave of anti-Iran efforts by the US administration under President Donald Trump.

Israel is deeply angered by Iran’s military advisory assistance to Syrian armed forces in their operations against the terrorist groups, which have the backing of Tel Aviv and its allies.

“This is the perfect time to make such a move. The most painful response you can give the Iranians is to recognize Israel’s Golan sovereignty – with an American statement, a presidential proclamation, enshrined (in law),” Katz said.

“I reckon there is great ripeness and a high probability this will happen,” the Israeli intelligence minister pointed out, predicting that the decision could be made later this year “give or take a few months.”

A White House official, however, declined to comment on Katz’s claims.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Likud Party lawmaker Yoav Kish has written to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, urging Washington to recognize Israeli “sovereignty” over the occupied Golan Heights, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Syria blasts ‘Takfiri Zionist’ occupation of Golan

Syria has reaffirmed its sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which Israel occupied in 1967, saying the territory must be completely restored.

“We believe that an official recognition of the Golan Heights as a sovereign Israeli territory would be a natural continuation of the current US policy in our region,” the Knesset lawmaker noted.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and has continued to occupy two-thirds of the strategically-important territory ever since, in a move that has never been recognized by the international community.

The Tel Aviv regime has built tens of illegal settlements in the area since its occupation and has used the region to carry out a number of military operations against the Syrian government.

Last week, Florida Representative Ron DeSantis told Israel’s Walla news website that he had brought a proposal on the recognition of the Golan annexation before the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs.

DeSantis further stressed that the proposal is a natural follow-up to the US mission’s relocation from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds on May 14.

The US embassy transfer, which took place on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), sparked condemnations and protests worldwide.

In the blockaded Gaza Strip alone, at least 65 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 others wounded during Israeli military crackdown on protesters.

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