The United States ambassador to Israel David Friedman has said Washington should consider recognising the Golan Heights as part of Israel without returning its sovereignty to Syria.
In an interview with Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom Friedman said: "Personally, I can not imagine a situation in which the Golan Heights is returned to Syria. Frankly, I can not imagine a situation in which the Golan Heights will not be part of Israel forever."
Friedman's remarks contradict US National Security Advisor, John Bolton, who said last month that Washington's policy with regard to not recognising Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights "has not changed".
Read: Netanyahu urges US to recognise Israel's right to Golan
However, since the US recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved its embassy from Tel Aviv Israeli hopes have grown for US recognition of their sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.
The Israeli army occupied the strategic Golan Heights in the 1967 war. The United Nations considers Golan an occupied territory and does not recognise Israel's sovereignty over it.