Ehud Olmert reportedly offered the Golan Heights to Syria in exchange for peace and an end to Damascus’ backing for terrorists. Yediot Achronot reported Friday that the Israeli prime minister conveyed the offer “recently” through German and Turkish intermediaries after getting the go-ahead from President Bush last month in an hour-long phone call. The Guardian newspaper reported Syrian officials denying knowledge of such an offer. Bush has until now resisted Israeli efforts to respond to recent Syrian overtures, believing the Bashar Assad regime is seeking cover from a U.N. investigation into its responsibility for a number of assassinations in neighboring Lebanon. Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. secretary of state, says she believes Israel should focus on the Palestinians for now. Israel captured the strategic plateau from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War. Israel has previously offered to return to Syria all but a sliver of the territory, bordering on the Sea of Galilee.
Olmert offers Golan to Syria