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Israel suffers 'significant blow' as Biden administration walks back on Trump's Golan Heights policy

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In a policy change seen as a "major blow" to the occupation state, the Biden administration has signaled that it does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Israel's war of aggression in 1967 acquired territory in south-western Syria, although the international community has never recognized Israel's authority over the region. Annexation and territorial conquest are two types of territorial conquest.

 

 

 

In 2019, however, former US President Donald Trump, widely regarded as the most pro-Israeli American leader in history, acknowledged the Zionist state's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The Israelis were overjoyed by the ruling and christened an illegal settlement in the area "Trump Heights" in honor of the 75-year-old president, whose final days in office were marred by scandal.

 

 

Trump's recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights comes after his administration took a series of steps that went against international consensus, including recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's unified capital and giving Netanyahu permission to expand settlements, all of which are illegal under international law.

 

 

 

Until date, the Biden administration has refrained from stating its position on the Golan Heights. Secretary of State Antony Blinken originally highlighted the issue in February, refusing to specify whether the State Department is still following the previous administration's judgment. Blinken would only comment at the time that the Golan Heights "remains of genuine significance to Israel's security."

 

 

The Washington Free Beacon recently questioned the Biden administration on the subject. A State Department official responded by saying that the territory belonged to no one and that control may move depending on the region's ever-changing dynamics.

 

 

 

According to the Free Beacon, "the secretary was clear that, as a practical matter, the Golan is vitally crucial to Israel's security." "As long as [Bashar Al-Assad] is in power in Syria, as long as Iran is present in Syria, as long as militia organizations backed by Iran, as well as the Assad regime itself—all of these constitute a substantial security danger to Israel, and in practice, the control of the Golan Heights."

 

 

 

The foregoing statement is widely regarded as falling well short of acknowledging Israel's sovereignty over the region. Recognizing Israel's rule as a "practical matter" is believed to fall far short of the formal policy change authorized by the Trump administration, which was the first to acknowledge Israel's entire control over the land.

 

 

 

 

The remarks have sparked outrage, with many seeing them as a policy reversal. Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was instrumental in changing US policy on the Golan Heights, has accused the Trump administration of endangering Israel's security.

 

 

 

The Evangelical Christian is 57 years old. The concept that God granted the land to the Jews and that the gathering of Jews in Israel is foreshadowed in the prophesy of the rapture — the ascension of Christians into God's kingdom — is a central element of their faith.

 

Others in the Republican Party want legislation passed that recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.

 

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