Netanyahu in U.S. with Golan Heights recognition on tap

President Donald Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House

That is why U.S. President Donald Trump's tweet last week endorsing Israel's claim to sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory seized from Syria 52 years ago, was so shocking.

Israel's foreign minister said the USA president will go one step further today when he welcomes Netanyahu - who is looking for an electoral boost ahead of April 9 parliamentary polls - to the White House.

Israel took the Golan Heights, a 1,200 sq-km plateau, from Syria during the six-day Israeli-Arab war in 1967.

According to Israel's foreign Minister Israel Katz Trump wants.to do this, on Monday a decree to sign From the White house, there was initially no confirmation.

He said the current regime of Bashar Assad, who succeeded his father Hafez in ruling Syria, has never attempted to politically defend the Golan issue in global arenas. The word that matters most in the Arab land of the Golan, from beginning to end, is the word of our heroic Syrian Arab army.

"I think it is good foreign policy for Israel, and it's good foreign policy for the United States", the Texas senator said, adding that he has previously introduced legislation in the past several months that recognizes Israel's control over the region. Israel has not annexed the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, but some Israeli politicians, including the current Knesset speaker, have described the Golan annexation as a first step towards annexing some or all of the West Bank. In a report for the March session of the Human Rights Council, the UN High Comissioner for Human Rights noted: "Syrian residents of the occupied Syrian Golan continued to face challenges due to discriminatory planning and zoning policies that favour illegal Israeli settlements".

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The move comes in line with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attempt at re-election. "We, however, had never been such a connection between the Israeli Prime Minister and an American President", he said.

Netanyahu is locked in a tough election fight with a centrist political alliance headed by former military chief Benny Gantz and ex-finance minister Yair Lapid.

On the same day as Trump's Golan Heights tweet, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Jerusalem, where he joined Netanyahu in a visit to the historic Western Wall, offering his host a prime pre-election photo opportunity. The President has earlier recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, moved the American Embassy there from Tel Aviv, and stopped aid to Palestinian refugees.

The four say Netanyahu may have pushed for an unnecessary submarine acquisition from Germany's Thyssenkrupp to boost the stock of a company in which he had owned shares.

Opinions polls show Netanyahu running neck and neck with Gantz. The two often call each other friends in public comments, as they did when the Israeli leader visited Washington in February 2017.

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