Donald Trump to recognise Israel sovereignty over Golan Heights

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Pompeo had arrived in Kuwait late Monday as part of a tour that is set to include visits to Lebanon and Israel to reinforce "the value of our partnerships, as well as the importance of security and economic cooperation in achieving regional stability and countering the Iranian regime's malign activities", a State Department statement read.

The announcement hands Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a significant foreign policy victory, less than three weeks before Israelis head to the polls to decide whether he should remain in power.

The Trump decision to recognize the Golan now gives Netanyahu a significant boost before the election, but will also also trigger criticism that the U.S. president is blatantly meddling in the Israeli elections. "Thank you, Mr. President", he said.

The spokesman said the shift is part of Trump's plan to "liquidate" the Palestinians' cause.

Standing together in Jerusalem Thursday, neither Netanyahu nor Pompeo mentioned the heated Israeli election campaign.

The premier, facing a stiff challenge from a centrist alliance in April 9 polls, will also visit Washington next week and meet with Trump twice while there.

Pompeo has said his trip has nothing to do with politics. Netanyahu has pressed the United States to recognize its claim and raised that possibility in his first White House meeting with Trump in February 2017.

Head of the Golan Heights Regional Council Haim Rokah said it was "about time" and called on Israel to increase funding and investment for the region "and double the population". "We would have Iran on the shores of the Sea of Galilee". His visit was likely to further infuriate the Palestinians, who already have severed ties with the US over its Jerusalem policies.

During Thursday's visit, Pompeo placed a prayer note inside the wall. Neither made any public comment at the site.

Neither were accompanied by Israeli leaders during the hugely symbolic visits. "I think it's symbolic that a senior American official go there with a PM of Israel", he added, calling it "a place that's important to many faiths". First, he recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved the United States embassy here.

Such a move would upend decades of USA policy but fall in line with the Trump administration's pattern of lavishing Israel with symbolic gifts and political support.

"Yesterday president Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital". Pompeo, a devout Christian, also stopped at the church. The wall is one of Judaism's holiest spots, but located in mainly Palestinian east Jerusalem. But the gesture was perceived as unfairly siding with Israel and prompted the Palestinians to sever ties with the U.S. The Palestinians already have rejected a planned Mideast peace initiative by the administration. "While they are claiming to be trying to solve the conflict, such acts only make it more hard to resolve", he said.

But some younger Druze have accepted they are likely to live forever under Israeli control and have taken steps to learn Hebrew and integrate into Israeli society. "We need to increase it".

A separate section of the report on the West Bank and Gaza Strip also did not refer to those territories as being "occupied" or under "occupation". I can't resist repeating this, but I'm going to.

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