US ambassador sees Golan remaining in Israeli hands ‘forever’

David Friedman suggests Trump administration could recognize strategic plateau bordering Syria as sovereign Israeli territory, weeks after John Bolton played down the idea

6 September 2018

US ambassador to Israel David Friedman expects the annexed Golan Heights to remain under Israeli control “forever,” according to an excerpt released Thursday of an interview he gave to the Israel Hayom daily.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War and annexed the territory in the early 1980s. But the United States and the international community have long refused to recognize Israeli sovereignty there and officially consider it Syrian territory under Israeli occupation.

“I cannot honestly imagine a situation in which the Golan Heights is not part of Israel forever,” Friedman told the pro-Benjamin Netanyahu daily, which is set to publish the full interview on Friday.