JERUSALEM

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed on Thursday that he had made a visit to the Silwan neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem and announced he would pay a visit to the occupied Syrian Golan heights. 

Speaking at a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Pompeo said: “Last night, I had the chance to walk through the city of David [Silwan neighborhood], and today you [Netanyahu] and I had met looking out over the Old City [of occupied East Jerusalem].”

“Today, I will have the chance to visit the Golan Heights. The simple recognition of this as part of Israel, too, was a decision President Trump made that is historically important and simply a recognition of reality,” he added, confirming his plans to make the controversial trip.

He also pledged that the US would take steps against the pro-Palestinian boycott movement Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

“[The State Department] will regard the global anti-Israel BDS campaign as anti-Semitic,” Pompeo said.

On March 25, 2019, the now-outgoing US President Donald Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian Golan heights. In the same year in November, Pompeo said the US would not consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank as a violation of International law.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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