The U.S. State Department referred to the Golan Heights as “Israeli-controlled territory” in its annual human rights report for 2018, released Wednesday. This is a change compared to the language used by previous administrations, which referred to the area as “occupied territory.”
A separate section on the West Bank and Gaza Strip — areas that Israel captured along with the Golan Heights during the Six-Day War in 1967 — also did not refer to those territories as being “occupied” or under “occupation.”
In last year’s State Department report on human rights, the administration dropped the term “occupied territories” from the headline, but referred to the Golan Heights and the West Bank as “occupied” inside the text itself. The main change in this year’s report is the scrubbing of the word “occupied” from the text itself.
This is the strongest indicator to date, the U.S. may formally declare the Golan as