Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz reportedly announced that recognition of Israel’s right to the Golan Heights now “topp[ed] the agenda” in diplomatic talks with the US.
By: World Israel News Staff
In an interview with Reuters, Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said that Israel is now urging the Trump administration to acknowledge the Jewish state’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
While Katz reportedly predicted that the US may take the step within a few months, the White House offered no immediate comment on the matter.
In the wake of the US’ withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal, its declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and its subsequent embassy move, recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan could send another strong message to Tehran and Israel’s other foes in the region.
“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 told Reuters.
Israel captured the Golan Heights in 1967, prior to which Syria controlled the area, which has strategic significance to the Jewish state as a buffer zone protecting it from Iranian aggression.
Israeli officially annexed the territory in 1981, but the decision was not recognized internationally.
“I reckon there is great ripeness and a high probability this will happen,” Katz explained with regard to a US move on Israel’s right to the Golan, adding that the US’ decision could come later in the year “give or take a few months.”
Katz also maintained that US recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan has the potential to push the Palestinians back to the bargaining table, a prospect they have avoided repeatedly.
“They should hurry up and sit down with Israel, because where Israel says it is determined to be, it will be, and it won’t give up, and history is working in our favor,” Katz concluded.