Israel is facing down threats from Iran and their allies to the north, which offers an opportunity to emphasize something that has been true for decades: The Israeli-controlled Golan Heights region is key to Israeli security. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made just that point in comments with United States National Security Advisor John Bolton. He also made the logical next step by stating that the international community should accept Israel’s control of the strategic mountain region, which was taken in the 1967 defensive war from Syria.
“The Golan Heights is tremendously important for our security. I think that when you’re there you will be able to understand perfectly why we will never leave the Golan Heights and why it’s important that all countries recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” said Netanyahu to Bolton in comments released by his office.
The Israeli premier said he has already discussed this matter with US President Donald Trump, who last year recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in a separate move.
Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu said in separate comments released by his office that he intended to discuss with Bolton “efforts to block the Iranian aggression”. Recently Trump has announced plans to withdraw American troops from Syria, where Iran has been working to build new military bases and capabilities. Meanwhile, tunnels leading from Lebanon into Israel built by Iranian terrorism proxy Hezbollah have recently been discovered and destroyed by Israel, in addition to the normal terror threat posed by the Lebanese group.
“Our position is clear. We will continue to act against the Iranian military entrenchment in Syria, including at present, and we will act against any element that undermines, or attempts to undermine, the security of Israel,” said Netanyahu on Sunday.
The Israeli leader said that this conversation with Bolton would also continue the discussion of Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which took place last week. A press release from Israel at the time noted that Netanyahu told Putin last Friday that “that Israel is determined to continue its efforts to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria.”
On Sunday, Netanyahu told Bolton that they appreciate Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, support for Israel at the United Nations and approach towards Iran.
“The President walked away from the dangerous Iran deal and reimposed sanctions. That’s number one. That’s important to America, to Israel, to the world. Everybody who wants to stop Iranian aggression respects that deeply,” said Netanyahu.
“…And you have backed Israel’s right to defend itself which we exercise constantly. It’s important to know that we have the backing of our great friend and ally the United States of America.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, January 6, 2019)