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Trump made Golan decision after ‘little history’ lesson from Kushner, advisors

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump (L) and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner (C) meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem al-Quds on May 22, 2018.

US President Donald Trump says he made his swift decision to recognize Israel’s “sovereignty” over the occupied Golan Heights after getting a quick history lesson from his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Trump told a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas that he had brought up the issue of Golan during a phone discussion on a different subject with Kushner, US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, as well as his Israel adviser, Jason Greenblatt.

“I said, ‘Fellows, do me a favor. Give me a little history, quick. Want to go fast. I got a lot of things I’m working on: China, North Korea. Give me a quickie,” Trump said to laughter from the crowd.

After being briefed by his advisors - as recounted by Trump - the president said, "How do you like the idea of me recognizing exactly what we’re discussing?"

He noted that his suggestion surprised the US ambassador to Israel, who reacted “like a wonderful, beautiful baby,” and asked him if he would actually do it.

On March 25, Trumped signed a proclamation, formally recognizing Syria's Golan Heights as Israeli territory. The announcement came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House.

“I went - ‘BING!’ - it was done,” Trump said, describing the pace of his decision. “We make fast decisions. And we make good decisions.”

His decision sparked international condemnation, with Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates calling it a “blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Syria.

“Syria will liberate the occupied Golan by all means and all choices are on the table,” Walid Muallem said at a press conference in Damascus alongside his Venezuelan counterpart on Thursday.

The Arab League also denounced the move, saying that Trump's recognition "does not change the area's status."

World countries — including Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, Russia, and the European Union (EU) — have also rejected the decision.

In 1967, Israel waged a full-scale war against Arab territories, during which it occupied a large swathe of the Golan and annexed it in 1981, a move never recognized by the international community.

Syria has repeatedly reaffirmed its sovereignty over the Golan Heights, saying the territory must be completely restored to its control.

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