Israel says uncovers Hezbollah unit led by notorious commander

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The Golan - like the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territories also taken by Israel in the June 1967 conflict - is regarded internationally as occupied under a U.N. Security Council resolution passed later that year.

The move came amid intensified efforts by Israel to win US recognition of its claim to sovereignty over the strategic plateau it captured from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and effectively annexed in 1981, a step not recognized internationally.

That points to a "continuation of the United States administration's hostile approach to Palestinian people", said senior Palestinian Authority official Nabil Abu Rudeineh.

The language of the previous administration referred to the areas as "occupied territory".

The document also suggests that the entire city of Jerusalem is a part of Israel.

In May of a year ago, Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said his country was close to convincing Washington to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Last month, Republican lawmakers in both chambers of Congress introduced bills "to ensure that Israel retains control of the Golan Heights".

The US State Department insisted the different wording did not mean a change in policy.

Asia stocks to rise as U.S. gains
The dollar index, a gauge of the currency's strength against six major counterparts, was up 0.1 percent at 96.633. So some of these are just rebound after that", said Stan Shipley, fixed income strategist at Evercore ISI in NY .

"What we're trying to do is report on the human rights situation in those territories; you're just trying to find a way of describing the place that you're reporting on", he told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday. "Israel will continue to do all that's necessary to defend itself".

"Our policy on Golan has not changed", a spokesperson for the USA embassy in Jerusalem said in a statement.

Netanyahu has on a multitude of occasions stressed that Tel Aviv would not meet Syria's demands and retreat to the 1967 lines because they were "indefensible", and that the Golan Heights would "remain in the hands of Israel forever".

Formal U.S. acceptance of Israel's territorial claim could bolster Netanyahu's re-election prospects in a closely contested race as he battles corruption allegations, which he denies.

President Donald Trump, who has shown robust support for close USA ally Israel, recognised Jerusalem as the country's capital in 2017, defying global consensus much to the chagrin of Palestinian leaders, who view Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Hezbollah network unveiled on Wednesday was only the "tip of the iceberg" of what Israel knows about Iran's "aggression against Israel".

"I personally can not imagine a situation in which the Golan Heights will be returned to Syria".

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