WASHINGTON — The Trump administration presented a new official U.S. government map of Israel on Tuesday, which includes the Golan Heights as part of the country. The map was shared on Twitter by Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt.
Unlike the Golan Heights, which U.S. President Donald Trump recognized as part of Israel last month in the run-up to Israel’s election, the West Bank still appears on the map as a separate territory that is not officially part of Israel.
Greenblatt wrote, “Welcome to the newest addition of our international maps system after @POTUS issued a proclamation recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”
In March, Trump met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington to sign a presidential proclamation officially recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, formalizing a move announced a week earlier on Twitter.
In a tweet on his personal Twitter account, Trump wrote: “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”
Netanyahu called Trump’s decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights “historic justice” and a “diplomatic victory,” saying that “Israel won the Golan Heights in a just war of defense.”
The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the area, but the ongoing conflict in Syria has complicated the matter of ownership. Forces aligned with Syrian President Bashar Assad, including Hezbollah and Iran-backed militias, regularly clash with rebel forces on the Syrian side of the border.
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Only around 12 percent of Golan Druze hold Israeli citizenship, since most still reject it on nationalist grounds, citing an allegiance to Syria.
Relations with local Israeli residents are, however, far better than between Palestinians and Israelis settlers in the West Bank.