Syria Calls D.C. ‘Main Enemy of Arabs’ After Trump Proclaims Israel’s Sovereignty Over Disputed Region

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The Latest on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington (all times local):

1:05 p.m.

Syria says President Donald Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights makes Washington “the main enemy” of Arabs, and the Damascus government is calling the U.S. decision a “slap” to the international community.

Trump has signed a proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan, which Israel occupied in 1967 and unilaterally annexed in 1981.

Syria’s Foreign Ministry calls the decision a “blatant aggression” on its own sovereignty and territorial integrity. The ministry says the U.S. move represents the “highest level of contempt for international legitimacy.”

The U.N. Security Council refers to Israel as “the occupying power” and says Israel’s attempt to “impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect.”

Trump’s decision reverses more than a half-century of U.S. policy.


12:55 p.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH’-hoo) is asking President Donald Trump for permission to share Israeli wine with White House staff.

And the Israeli leader is joking that he hopes “they don’t open an investigation” as a result. Back home, Netanyahu is facing a pending indictment on corruption charges.

And Trump has been the subject of numerous investigations, but is claiming vindication following the release of a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Netanyahu made the offer after Trump signed a proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Netanyahu says he brought Trump a case “of the finest wine from the Golan.” But he says Trump, who doesn’t drink alcohol, is “not a great wine drinker,” and that he wanted to give the wine to Trump’s staff instead.


12:20 p.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH’-hoo) says Israel is “responding forcefully” to a morning rocket attack in central part of the Jewish state.

Israel’s military says it’s started striking Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip after a rocket hit a house north Tel Aviv and wounded seven people.

Netanyahu spoke during a meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump, who later signed an official proclamation formally recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Netanyahu calls the rocket attack “wanton aggression” and says “Israel will not tolerate this. I will not tolerate it.”

The prime minister says he plans to return to Israel after the meeting with Trump.


12:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The document reverses more than a half-century of U.S. policy as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH’-hoo) visited the White House.

Trump had previewed the move in a tweet last week that it was time for the U.S. to take the step after 52 years of Israeli control of the strategic highlands on the border with Syria.

Netanyahu has pressed for such recognition for months. Trump’s action gives him a political boost just weeks before what’s expected to be a close Israeli election.

Israel captured the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war but its sovereignty over the territory is not recognized by the international community.


9:35 a.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH’-hoo) says he’s cutting short his visit to Washington after a Gaza rocket attack on Israel.

Netanyahu describes Monday morning’s rocket launch that struck a home in central Israel as a “criminal attack” and he’s pledging to strike back hard. He says he’ll return to Israel to handle the crisis shortly after his meeting with President Donald Trump.

An Israeli rescue service says the rocket from the Gaza Strip wounded seven people.

Netanyahu arrived in Washington on Sunday for what was to have been a three-day visit. He was going to speak at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s policy conference and was to be hosted at a White House dinner.

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