Golan Heights, Israel
Golan Heights, IsraeliStock

US Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Sunday issued a statement following reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has asked the United States to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

In the last Congress, Cruz and Cotton introduced S.Res.732, a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the United States should recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

“Israel's northern border has become increasingly dangerous in recent weeks with the discovery of Hezbollah’s terror tunnels and Bashar Al-Assad’s continued efforts to consolidate control of Syria with the assistance of Iranian shock troops,” Cruz and Cotton said.

“Responding to the threat posed by Iran and its proxies requires ensuring that Israel can defend its territory and its citizens from attacks. To support Israel’s right to self defense, Washington should take the long overdue step of affirming Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” they added.

Channel 10 News reported on Sunday that Netanyahu had brought up the issue of the Golan Heights during his meeting with US National Security Adviser John Bolton.

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.

US ambassador to Israel David Friedman told the Israel Hayom newspaper in September of 2018 that he expected the Golan Heights to remain under Israeli control "forever," and mentioned the possibility of US official recognition of the Golan as Israeli territory.

However, Bolton said a month earlier that there were no US plans for such recognition.