U.S. President Donald Trump signed a decree officially recognizing Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, after saying that it was “time” to make the step.
Trump signed the historic document as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stood by, ahead of their meeting at the White House on Monday.
“This should have been done numerous presidents ago,” Trump said.
A statement released by the White House stated that “following years of empty promises by past presidents, President Trump followed through on his pledge to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the United States embassy there.”
Netanyahu praised Trump for the move, “making the bond between America and Israel stronger and greater than ever.” The U.S. thus became the first country to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the region.
After 52 years of Israeli control of the strategic highlands on the border with Syria, Netanyahu had been pressing for such recognition for months.
Trump said that Israel’s retaliatory attack on Gaza on Monday was necessary to preserve the country’s security.
Asked moments later if he wanted to see Netanyahu reelected, Trump answered in the affirmative.
TEXT OF PRESIDENTS PROCLAMATION
The State of Israel took control of the Golan Heights in 1967 to safeguard its security from external threats. Today, aggressive acts by Iran and terrorist groups, including Hizballah, in southern Syria continue to make the Golan Heights a potential launching ground for attacks on Israel. Any possible future peace agreement in the region must account for Israel’s need to protect itself from Syria and other regional threats. Based on these unique circumstances, it is therefore appropriate to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim that, the United States recognizes that the Golan Heights are part of the State of Israel.
Updated Monday, March 25, 2019 at 1:59 pm Text of Presidential Proclamation
Updated Monday, March 25, 2019 at 2:25 pm added info