Israel to US: Recognize Israeli sovereignty in Golan

Report: Israel urging US to recognize sovereignty over Golan Heights to 'compensate' Israel for US pullout from Syria.

David Rosenberg,

John Bolton meets with Netanyahu at PM's residence
John Bolton meets with Netanyahu at PM's residence
Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

Israel is calling on the Trump administration to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, as a form of compensation for the impending US troop withdrawal from Syria, Channel 10 reported Sunday.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with US National Security Advisor John Bolton at the Prime Minister’s Residence Sunday evening, a day after Bolton landed in Israel for talks regarding the planned Syria pullout and the future of US-Israel efforts to confront Iran’s military expansion in the war-torn country.

During a joint press briefing following the meeting, Netanyahu said he would be travelling with Bolton – weather-permitting – to the Golan Heights Monday, saying the trip would impress upon the NSA the importance of recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the territory.

"Tomorrow, if weather permits, we'll go up to the Golan Heights...the Golan Heights is tremendously important for our security, and when you're there, I think you'll realize why we'll never leave the Golan Heights, and why it's important that all countries recognize Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights."

Israel captured most of the Golan Heights from Syria during the June 1967 ‘Six Day War’.

While Israel ceded a portion of the Golan Heights as part of a separate of forces agreement with Syria following the 1973 ‘Yom Kippur War’, the Jewish state has retained roughly two-thirds of the Heights.

In 1981, the Menachem Begin government applied Israeli sovereignty over the Golan – a move not internationally recognized, including by the US.

Some 40,000 people live in the Israeli portion of the Golan Heights, roughly half of them Israeli Jews and the remaining half nearly all Syrian Druze who accepted Israeli residency cards but have largely refused to take on full Israeli citizenship.