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President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump met at the White House today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and signed a proclamation recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

"Today, aggressive action by Iran and terrorist groups in southern Syria, including Hezbollah, continue to make the Golan Heights a potential launching ground for attacks against Israel — very violent attacks. ... This should have been done numerous presidents ago."

The big picture: The official proclamation, which was announced by Trump earlier on Twitter, is a huge policy shift by the U.S. that could have repercussions for American policy towards other occupied areas in the world. Countries around the world have been critical of the decision.

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke today to Secretary of State Pompeo and stressed that recognizing Golan Heights is "a flagrant violation of international law" and will create more tensions in the region, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

The signing ceremony came just as Israel's military announced it had begun striking Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, after a Hamas rocket wounded 7 people in a village north of Tel Aviv. Netanyahu cut his Washington trip short as a result of the attacks and will fly back to Israel Monday afternoon.

Go deeper

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

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