Palestinian President Abbas slams US dropping 'occupied' in report

Palestinian President Abbas slams US dropping 'occupied' in report

While the United States has been a staunch defender of Israel for decades, President Donald Trump's administration has pursued aggressively pro-Israel policies since coming into office.

Netanyahu travels to Washington later this month to address the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC, and Israeli media reports said he also plans to hold talks with Trump, with the Golan recognition issue on the agenda.

"The Hezbollah terrorist organization has begun an attempt to establish and entrench a covert force in the Syrian Golan Heights that is created to act against Israel when given the order", said the IDF on Tuesday. The network was established without the knowledge of Syrian President Bashar Assad, the army said.

"Our main leverage in Syria would be through the Russians, not directly through Assad, and its appropriate for the U.S. to talk to Russia to convey that Moscow should impose limits on Iran and their proxies in Syria which threaten Israel", he said.

"We hold the Syrian Regime as the sovereign its territory and expect it to honor the terms of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement", the military said on Tuesday, adding that "we expect it to prevent any hostile elements, including Hezbollah, from operating out of its territory. We know a lot more", he continued.

"I have a clear message for Iran and for Hezbollah: Israel knows what you're doing".

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Both were killed in separate 2015 air strikes attributed to Israel.

Daqduq returned to his native Lebanon and spent several years training Hizbollah's special forces unit, according to the Israeli military. The activity of the Hezbollah operatives goes largely unnoticed in Syria due to their ability to assimilate into the local population.

It has pledged to stop its main enemy Iran from entrenching itself militarily there, carrying out hundreds of air strikes against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria.

These displays of support for Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights come ahead of the early election in Israel, which is scheduled for 9 April. Tel Aviv has also been lobbying U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize its sovereignty over the territory.

The shift arrives amid comments from US lawmakers like Senator Lindsey Graham expressing support for recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which the Jewish state initially captured in 1967 during the Six-Day War and annexed for all intents and purposes in 1981.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the global community.

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