US President Donald Trump will sign a decree recognising Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights while hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House tomorrow, Israel's acting foreign minister said.
A senior US official said last week that the Trump administration was preparing an official document to codify support for Israel's annexation of the strategic plateau that it seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.
"Tomorrow, President Trump, in the presence of PM Netanyahu,will sign a decree recognising Israel's sovereignty on the Golan. Israel-US ties are closer than ever," acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz tweeted today.
The United Nations considers the Israeli-held Golan to be occupied territory.
Why is the area contentious?
The Golan Heights were part of Syria until 1967, when Israel captured most of the area in the Six Day War, occupying it and annexing it in 1981. That unilateral annexation was not recognised internationally, and Syria demands the return of the territory.
Syria tried to regain the Heights in the 1973 Middle East war, but was thwarted. Israel and Syria signed an armistice in 1974 and the Golan had been relatively quiet since.
In 2000, Israel and Syria held their highest-level talks over a possible return of the Golan and a peace agreement. But the negotiations collapsed and subsequent talks also failed.