US may recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights soon

Intelligence Minister says talks with US currently centered on recognition of Golan Heights as part of Israel.

Gary Willig,

Golan Heights, Israel
Golan Heights, Israel

The United States may soon recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said Wednesday.

In an interview with Reuters, Minister Katz said that US recognition of Israel's claim to its northernmost territory was "topping the agenda" in bilateral talks between the two nations.

He said that such a move would send a clear message to the Iranians in light of Iran's threats against Israel.

According to Katz, the message sent would be: “You want to destroy [an American ally], to generate attacks [against it]? Look, you got exactly the opposite.”

There was no comment from the White House on Katz's statements.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War and applied its sovereignty over the territory in 1981. The Golan is considered essential to Israel's security, as it overlooks many civilian cities and towns in the Galilee.

The international community has not recognized Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and several Israeli governments have considered returning the land to Syria in exchange for a peace treaty ending the state of war between the two nations.

The Syrian civil war, which has caused the deaths of over half a million Syrians and the displacement of millions more, has removed the prospect of returning the Golan Heights to Syria. Syrian President Bashar al Assad has been accused of using illegal chemical weapons in multiple attacks on civilians during the conflict.

Last week, Florida Republican and House Foreign Affairs Committee member Ron DeSantis introduced a proposal in the House of Representatives which would recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.