U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday recognized the Golan Heights as Israeli territory in an election boost for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as his chief political rival sought to appear as a better alternative to lead Israel.
During a White House visit by Netanyahu, Trump signed a proclamation officially granting U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, in a dramatic shift from decades of U.S. policy. Israel seized the strategic land from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.
The recognition, which Trump had announced in a tweet last Thursday, appeared to be the most overt gesture by the Republican president to help Netanyahu, who had been pressing Trump for the move.
The Israeli prime minister, who faces an election on April 9, earlier on Monday cut short his U.S. visit after a rocket fired from Gaza injured seven people near Tel Aviv. He arrived in Washington on Sunday, originally for a four-day trip.