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Trump Stands Behind Israel, Recognizes 'Israel's Sovereignty over Golan Heights'

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This is a timeline from The Associated Press of the latest on United States and Israel:

7:25 p.m.

Israel’s leader has thanked President Donald Trump for “boldly” recognizing Israel’s control over the Golan Heights.

Israel captured the Golan, a strategic plateau overlooking northern Israel, from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed the area in 1981.

The international community considers the Golan to be occupied territory, and Syria has demanded its return as a condition for any future peace agreement.

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After an eight-year civil war, peace talks with Israel are unlikely anytime soon. Throughout the war, Israel has carried out scores of airstrikes in Syria to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military presence there.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted: “At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

He added: “Thank you President Trump!”

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Do you agree with President Trump about Israel's sovereignty?

7 p.m.

President Trump says that it’s time to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

In a tweet Thursday, Trump said that after 52 years, it’s important for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s control over what he says is an area of “critical strategic and security importance to Israel” and stability in the region.

Trump’s tweet came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Jerusalem. Reporters asked Pompeo about the issue, but he declined to answer.

The Israeli prime minister has accused Iran of attempting to set up a terrorist network to target Israel from the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967. He has used the incident to repeat his goal of international recognition for Israel’s claim on the area.

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2 p.m.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the highest-level American official to tour the holy site with Prime Minister Netanyahu, is to make an unprecedented visit to the Western Wall with Israel’s leader.

Pompeo says he thinks it’s important and symbolic to visit the wall with the Israeli leader Thursday as a show of U.S. support for Israel.

Senior U.S. officials, including President Trump and numerous predecessors, have visited the wall in the past but never with an Israeli leader.

Since Israel captured east Jerusalem and the Old City in 1967, U.S. officials have avoided appearances at the Western Wall with Israeli leaders to avoid the appearance of recognizing Israel’s control over the city’s sensitive holy sites. But that policy has been upended by the Trump administration.

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The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
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