Arabs protest Trump's stance over Golan Heights

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses supporters during a rally for the upcoming local elections in Istanbul

Explained: Golan Heights; Where are they, and why do they matter?

Netanyahu, facing corruption charges and a tough re-election contest April 9, is meeting Monday with Trump at the White House and having dinner there on Tuesday, sandwiched around a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a major USA lobbying group for the Jewish state.

Trump's Golan Heights announcement came shortly after Pompeo visited the Western Wall, one of Judaism's holiest sites in Palestinian east Jerusalem, with Netanyahu, the first time such a high-ranking US official had visited the site with an Israeli leader.

The Golan Heights are a fertile plateau of around 1,300 sq km area lying to the north and east of the Sea of Galilee, which Israel seized from Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967, and has occupied ever since.

The prime minister's White House meeting with Trump on Monday could be overshadowed in the United States by the expected release of details from a confidential report into an investigation into possible collusion between the president and Russian Federation in his 2016 USA election campaign.

Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group consulting firm, called that decision "a big win for Netanyahu with elections coming up".

Israel captured much of the Golan from Syria in a 1967 war and annexed it, a move not endorsed internationally.

But they were biting at his heels as he arrived in Washington on Sunday.

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On Thursday, after new opinion polls showed Netanyahu losing ground to his electoral rivals, Trump took to his beloved Twitter account to present the Israeli leader with what many analysts saw as a campaign gift.

The Golan Heights decision is the latest major move in favor of Israel by Trump, who in 2017 recognized the disputed city of Jerusalem as the country's capital. More than 35 years ago the Likud took control of the USA lobby which is influential with right-wing members of the Jewish community and, more importantly, with pro-Israeli Evangelical Christians who belong to Trump's "base" of support.

"I wouldn't even know about that", Trump told Fox Business Network in an interview that aired Friday morning when asked about Netanyahu's political standing. "The President did the right thing here", Cruz said.

There has been talk in recent weeks about similarities in style between Trump and Netanyahu - although there are key differences.

Trump's tweet marked a reversal of decades of United States policy, which has refused to condone the Israeli occupation of Golan, and urged that the dispute must be resolved diplomatically.

Using phrases that echo Trump's, Netanyahu has castigated the corruption investigations into his affairs as a "witch-hunt" and a plot aimed at forcing him from office.

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