The Golan Heights are an indivisible part of Israel and the Trump administration should recognize that in light of the civil war in Syria, Transportation and Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said Sunday.
Katz made the remarks at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York.
Katz proposed that the governments in Jerusalem and Washington reach a five-pointed understanding on the issue of the Syrian civil war and the implications it has on Israel’s security.
Besides recognizing Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, Katz called for joint opposition to a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria and Lebanon, further sanctions against Iran until it stops supporting regional terror organizations, and enhancing paralyzing sanctions on Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah.
“There will not be stability in the region until Iran is pushed back, and weapons transfers are stopped,” he added.
Katz also condemned the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for its recent anti-Israel resolutions and called for strengthening Jerusalem and expanding its borders in response.
“We must strengthen our hold in Jerusalem and ensure the Jewish majority there, in the face of all those, including UNESCO, who are trying again and again to question the undeniable historical and religious connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem,” said the minister.
He added that in part this can be facilitated by including Jewish towns such as Gush Etzion, Givat Zeev, Ma’aleh Adumim and Beitar Elit to be part of “greater Jerusalem.”
“A united Jerusalem is and will be the eternal capital of the Jewish people,” he underlined.
On the Palestinian issue, Katz suggested focusing on civilian economic initiatives. For instance, he said he was using the Transportation Ministry he heads to advance a railroad initiative that would benefit Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians and countries that want to trade with them.
“Economic development and trade are the strongest path to peace,” he said.