Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump announced in a Thursday tweet that the U.S. will recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which Israel first captured from Syria and occupied in 1967 and effectively annexed in 1981. 

Why it matters: This is a huge policy shift from the U.S. that could have repercussions for American policy towards other occupied areas in the world, like Crimea. It's also likely to infuriate Russia, an ally of the Assad regime in Syria. Trump's move is also a major boost for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his election campaign ahead of Israel's April 9 elections.

What he's saying: "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 state of play: Netanyahu spoke on the phone with Trump this afternoon and thanked him for his decision on the Golan Heights. "You made history," Netanyahu told Trump, according to an Israeli official.

Go deeper: Netanyahu rival thinks Trump could recognize Golan Heights to swing Israeli election

Go deeper

Pence to continue traveling despite aides testing positive for COVID-19

Marc Short with Pence in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force. Pence and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for the virus on Sunday morning, according to the vice president's office.

AOC: "Extremely important" that Biden offer Bernie Sanders a Cabinet position

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that she believes it's "extremely important" that Joe Biden offer Sen. Bernie Sanders and other progressive leaders Cabinet positions if he's elected president.

The big picture: Ocasio-Cortez was pressed repeatedly on policy differences between her and the more moderate Biden, including her opposition to fracking and support for Medicare for All. She responded that it would be a "privilege" and a "luxury" to be able to lobby a Biden administration on progressive issues, insisting that the focus right now should be on winning the White House.

1 hour ago - Health

Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows defended Vice President Pence's decision to continue traveling and campaigning despite his exposure to aides who have tested positive for COVID-19, saying Sunday that Pence is exempt from CDC guidelines because he is "essential personnel."

Why it matters: CDC guidelines call for people who have been exposed to the virus to quarantine for 14 days. Meadows said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Pence will wear a mask when he travels and argued that "he's not just campaigning," pointing to the Israel-Sudan normalization agreement announced by the White House last week.

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