President Donald Trump added a new notch to his belt of shock foreign policy moves Monday night, signing a proclamation officially recognizing Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights, which it captured from Syria in 1967 and has occupied ever since.
Trump initially announced the policy about-face last week via Twitter, writing: "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!"
The decision is major in a few ways. It's yet another rejection by the Trump administration of decades of U.S. policy; it recognizes Israeli sovereignty over a territory internationally recognized as belonging to an Arab state; and it's seen as a boost to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of Israel's elections.
It also makes things awkward for Washington's Arab allies, whose populations oppose Israeli seizures of Arab lands.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates all rejected Trump's move, calling the Golan occupied Arab territory.