With one tweet Donald Trump changes decades of US Middle East policy

With one tweet Donald Trump changes decades of US Middle East policy

Also on Thursday, Mr Trump announced a change in U.S. policy toward the Golan Heights, saying that the territory Israel has occupied from Syria since 1967 should be recognised as part of Israel. Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

The U.S. will be the first country to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, which the rest of the worldwide community regards as territory occupied by Israel whose status should be determined by negotiations between Israel and Syria.

Mr Netanyahu has pressed the United States to recognise its claim to the Golan and raised the possibility in his first White House meeting with Mr Trump in February 2017.

Trump's tweet came in the wake of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Jerusalem.

Russia, which has been rebuked by the United States for its annexation of Crimea in 2014, said the decision bypassed the United Nations Security Council.

The US had offered several hints that a decision on the Golan may be coming. Identical bills in the Senate and House introduced by Cruz and Gallagher would also include the Golan Heights as part of Israel in any spending and trade bills while greenlighting joint scientific, industrial and agricultural projects in the occupied territory.

"We'll spend a lot of time talking with the Lebanese government about how we can help them disconnect from the threat that Iran and Hezbollah present", Pompeo told reporters earlier this week.

Since Trump's inauguration, the United States have taken more and more of a pro-Israel stance.

Mr Pompeo's presence also appeared to signal Mr Trump's support for Mr Netanyahu the political candidate.

The decision was condemned by Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state, and the UN General Assembly demanded its cancellation.

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Trump's announcement has brought the region "to the brink of a new crisis and new tensions". "They're going to fail again", Netanyahu said.

But for decades, top US officials have refrained from visiting the site with Israeli leaders to present a sense of impartiality in deciding eventual control of Jerusalem in the years of unresolved discussions over the creation of a Palestinian state.

Why is the area contentious?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu celebrated President Trump's decision to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel.

The US president's moves come in the face of a 52-year old unanimously adopted United Nations resolution on "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" and breaks with the post-war norm of refusing to recognise the forcible annexation of territory.

A Golan Heights force was set up after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war to monitor the ceasefire.

On 14 December 1981, Israel passed the Golan Heights Law, which extended Israeli "laws, jurisdiction and administration" to the Golan Heights.

Israel has built dozens of settlements in the Golan over the years, with an estimated 26,000 Jewish settlers living there as of 2019.

Security. Israel says the civil war in Syria demonstrates the need to keep the plateau as a buffer zone between Israeli towns and the instability of its neighbour.

The statement carried by the Sana news agency said Mr Trump's comments had shown "contempt" for global law and that they would not change "the reality that the Golan was and will remain Syrian, Arab".

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