PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon visit a military outpost on Mount Hermon overlooking the Syrian border. (Effi Sharir/Flash90/FILE) (Effi Sharir/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called on the U.S to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

By: Associated Press and United with Israel Staff

During a meeting on Sunday between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. national security adviser John Bolton, the Israeli leader raised the issue of the United States’ recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

During a joint press conference on Sunday, Netanyahu addressed Bolton, “When you’re there, you’ll be able to understand perfectly why we’ll never leave the Golan Heights, and why it’s important that all countries recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

Israel captured the area after Syria and three other Arab nations attacked the Jewish state in 1967’s Six Day War, gaining control of the Golan, in addition to all of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula.

Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, but the international community has been reticent to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the strategically crucial territory.

Bolton arrived in Israel to reassure the American ally about the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, which raises questions for Israel due to Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria.

Netanyahu’s plea was well received by at least two Republican congressmen, Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who issued a statement in favor of Israeli sovereignty.

“Responding to the threat posed by Iran and its proxies requires ensuring that Israel can defend its territory and its citizens from attacks,” Cruz and Cotton announced on Sunday. “To support Israel’s right to self-defense, Washington should take the long overdue step of affirming Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

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