Israel’s Zionist leaders welcomed US President Donald Trump’s announcement on Thursday, March 21, that the time had come for the United States to “fully recognize” Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Palestinians warned the move would further destabilize the region and lead to bloodshed.
“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!” Trump tweeted.
Lawmakers from Hadash accused Trump of timing the announcement to try and influence the election and get Netanyahu re-elected. “Trump is trying to save Netanyahu from his desperate situation and return him to power,” said MK Aida Touma-Sliman. She called the recognition part of “the entrenchment of Israeli and American control over the Middle East and a targeted assassination of the … opposition in the Golan by thousands of Syrian citizens, who are standing firm against all attempts at Israelization and normalization” — a reference to the Golan’s Syrian-Druze population.
Hadash leader Ayman Odeh called the move a “cheap and cynical provocation.” “Decisions on the Middle East should not be unilateral and certainly not announced over Twitter,” he said, warning that it would further destabilize the region.
Israel occupied the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War and extended Israeli law to the territory in 1981, a step tantamount to annexation. However, until now the United States and the entire international community considered it Syrian territory under Israeli occupation.
A top Palestinian official warned that this was yet another move by the Trump administration to adopt Israel’s positions and warned it would lead to further instability in the region. “Yesterday president Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Today for regional stability he wants to make sure that the occupied Syrian Golan Heights be under Israel’s sovereignty,” tweeted Dr. Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee.