In Golan, Bennett suggests Biden administration has recognized territory as Israeli

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Speaking at the Makor Rishon Golan Conference in Haspin, a moshav commonly known as Hispin, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announces that in six weeks, his government will hold a meeting on the Golan Heights and will present a national plan for the future of the area. The plan aims to double the population of the Golan and to build two new towns there.

The ultimate goal, he says, is to hit 100,000 residents, almost four times the current population.

“The Golan Heights is Israeli, period,” Bennett says to applause.

In his remarks, Bennett says that “our position on the Golan Heights has no connection to the situation in Syria.”

“It is true that the atrocities taking place there for a decade convinced many around the world that maybe it is better for this beautiful and strategic piece of land to be in Israeli hands, that it is preferable for it to be green and flourishing than another theater of killing and bombing.”

“Even in a scenario in which, as can happen, the world changes its position toward Syria, or toward Assad, this would have no connection to the Golan Heights.”

“The Golan Heights is in Israel, period.”

He also suggests the Biden administration has adopted former president Donald Trump’s recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli, though the US government has not publicly made such an assertion.

He says: “Exactly 40 years ago, the government of Israel led by Menachem Begin made an incredibly brave and important decision: to apply Israeli law to the Golan Heights. Almost three years ago, we were informed of another significant development: The decision of the previous American administration to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel – a perception that has been adopted by the current administration.”



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