Israeli media sources have revealed an initiative in the US Senate to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
The Hebrew newspaper Israel Hayom reported yesterday that after the American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a plan was proposed last week to promote the US’ recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
The newspaper asserted that the plan was initiated by Israeli and US officials in Washington, explaining that it focuses on the implementation of trade agreements between Tel Aviv and Washington regarding the products of Israeli settlements in the occupied Golan Heights.
It added that the plan aims to make an announcement of “recognition of the changes taking place in the region [the Golan Heights],” similar to the status given by President George Bush during the Sharon government to the West Bank.
Israel Hayom pointed out that the plan is “part of an intensive effort made by members of the US Congress, led by Senator Ted Cruz, to consolidate Israeli control over the Golan Heights with US support.”
The plan includes six items, namely transferring budgets to joint Israeli-US projects in the Golan Heights, expanding US-Israel agreements such as the Free Trade Agreement, issuing a document stating that Syria will not regain control of the Golan Heights, sending official delegations to the occupied area and drafting congressional documents recognising Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
The newspaper, close to the decision-making circles in Tel Aviv, said that the exact wording of the Congressional recognition announcement had not been determined yet.
The Golan Heights is a strategic plateau between Israel and Syria, with an area of about 1,200 square kilometres.
Israel seized control of the area in the 1967 war. Settlers were late moved in and it later annexed it in 1981 in a move not recognised internationally.