Israeli envoy: Trump will formally recognize Israel's control of Golan Heights on Monday

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump endorses former White House physician Ronny Jackson for Congress Newly released emails reveal officials' panic over loss of credibility after Trump's Dorian claims Lindsey Graham thanks Trump, bemoans 'never-ending bull----' at South Carolina rally  MORE’s decision to recognize Israel’s control of the Golan Heights will be formalized Monday when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the White House, Israel’s ambassador to the United States said Sunday.

Ambassador Ron Dermer made the announcement at the opening night of this year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington, D.C., after having been asked about the threat Israel faces from Iran in Syria.

“If we’re going to talk about Syria, I think it’s important for me to thank President Trump for recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” Dermer said to applause from the crowd.


“I think that deserves a standing ovation,” he added, with the crowd following suit by standing to applaud.

“It’s so significant in historical terms because 52 years ago we acquired that territory in a defensive war,” Dermer continued. “There’s one thing to achieve a military victory, which our brave soldiers did. It’s another thing to translate that military victory into a diplomatic victory. It took us 52 years to do that, and I think it will formally be declared, that diplomatic victory, tomorrow at the White House, and the people of Israel are very grateful to President Trump.”

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed the territory in 1981, a move that was not formally recognized by the U.S. and other nations who said its permanent status should be determined through negotiations.

Last week, though, Trump announced on Twitter that he would recognize Israel’s control over the Golan Heights.

"After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel's Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability," Trump tweeted.

Despite Trump’s tweet, the administration did not immediately formalize the recognition and it was unclear until Dermer’s speech Sunday when that would happen.


Trump’s decision has been seen as a boost to Netanyahu’s re-election campaign with Israel’s elections just a little more than two weeks away.

Trump, though, has denied that he made the move to help Netanyahu, with whom he as fostered a close relationship.

“No, I wouldn’t even know about that,” Trump told Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo when asked about the issue in an interview that aired Friday.

“I hear he’s doing OK, I don’t know if he’s doing great, but I hear he’s doing OK,” Trump added of Netanyahu. “But I would imagine the other side, whoever is against him, is also in favor of what I just did.”