Time for the United States to 'recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on a regional tour also including Kuwait and Lebanon

The ancient Western Wall, the most sacred prayer site in Judaism, is located in the eastern part of the city that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed in a move not recognized internationally.

Then on Thursday, Trump dropped a diplomatic bombshell by tweeting his support for U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Trump's comments come as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Israel and a week ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington to visit the White House and address the AIPAC lobby's annual meeting.

In 2015, O-Rourke took a trip to Israel funded by J-Street, a leftist Jewish group that frequently criticizes Israel.

Trump has consistently backed Israel when it comes to major regional disputes and a year ago sparked controversy and outrage among Palestinians and others when he moved the USA embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem and said the United States officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Within minutes, Netanyahu tweeted "Thank You President Trump!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

Netanyahu, who is campaigning under threat of indictment for corruption, is hoping that the strong USA backing will help push him over the finish line. Last week, the State Department dropped a reference to the Golan being under Israeli occupation. In the recently released 2018 report, however, there is no mention of the area as "occupied".

Jared Kushner accused of using WhatsApp and personal email for state business
Steven Groves, a White House spokesman, said: "The White House has received Chairman Cummings' letter of March 21st". He also noted that "there was never classified information transmitted" using her private email account.

In a speech broadcast on the Persian New Year on Thursday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Islamic Republic had successfully resisted "unprecedented, strong" USA sanctions. He told reporters traveling with him in Jerusalem that the language is "there for a reason" and stressed that "it wasn't a mistake; it wasn't an error".

The occupied portion of Golan refers to the western two-thirds of the geological Golan Heights, as well as the Israeli-occupied part of Mount Hermon.

"Turkey supports Syria's territorial integrity", he added.

What is the Golan Heights?

Since taking office, Trump has upended U.S. policy and taken a series of steps welcomed by Israel, most notably by recognizing contested Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is in charge of brokering a peace deal between Israel and Palestine.

Syria has consistently sought to regain sovereignty over the region.

"Among the delighted will be Iran and Hezbollah, whose resistance pretensions will be gratuitously elevated above their sewer of transnational terror, drug running, and money laundering", Hof continued.


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