Secretary of State Pompeo to Disregard Precedent, Visit the Shomron

WASHINGTON -
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a joint statement in Jerusalem on August 24, 2020. (Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on his week-long visit to the Middle East, will be the first sitting head of the American State Department to visit the Golan Heights and the Shomron, Axios reported.

Historically, previous United States administrations, whether Republican or Democrat, viewed the Golan Heights and the Shomron as internationally contested territory, and would avoid visiting and setting off a political firestorm.

Pompeo’s visit reaffirms President Trump’s administration’s closeness to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political agenda.

In November of 2019, Pompeo and American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman annulled a 1978 decision by the State Department that Israeli building in the Shomron and the Golan Heights are “inconsistent with international law.”

Pompeo is expected to meet with Netanyahu, Minister of Defense Benny Gantz, and Foreign Minister Gabbi Ashkenazi.