Emboldened by the American embassy’s recent relocation to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, Tel Aviv is now pressing the US administration to recognize the occupied side of Syria’s Golan Heights as Israeli territory.
In an exclusive interview with Reuters on Wednesday, Yisrael Katz, Israel’s intelligence minister, said the subject is “topping the agenda” in talks with Washington, which has already recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Palestinian city.
He also claimed that America’s recognition of Israel’s annexation of occupied Golan would serve as a message of warning to Iran and bolster the latest wave of anti-Iran efforts by the US administration under President Donald Trump.
Israel is deeply angered by Iran’s military advisory assistance to Syrian armed forces in their operations against the terrorist groups, which have the backing of Tel Aviv and its allies.
“This is the perfect time to make such a move. The most painful response you can give the Iranians is to recognize Israel’s Golan sovereignty – with an American statement, a presidential proclamation, enshrined (in law),” Katz said.
“I reckon there is great ripeness and a high probability this will happen,” the Israeli intelligence minister pointed out, predicting that the decision could be made later this year “give or take a few months.”
A White House official, however, declined to comment on Katz’s claims.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Likud Party lawmaker Yoav Kish has written to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, urging Washington to recognize Israeli “sovereignty” over the occupied Golan Heights, the Jerusalem Post reported.