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US to back Israeli claim to Golan, says Trump

US President Donald Trump indicated yesterday that Washington would support Israel’s illegal claim to the Golan Heights.

Mr Trump took to Twitter to make the provocative announcement, which had been expected after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.

He tweeted: “After 52 years, it is time for the United States to fully recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and regional stability.”

The Golan Heights were stolen from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and the territory is used to maintain Israeli dominance on the Syrian border.

In 1981, Tel Aviv officially annexed the Golan, making Israeli law applicable there.

Israeli sovereignty is not recognised by the international community, including the United Nations and the European Union. Mr Trump’s move raised fears of a shift in policy.

Protests swept across the region last year after Israeli forces administered elections in the Golan Heights. Residents pledged their allegiance to Damascus and demanded an end to the Israeli occupation.

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