The recent report, which refers to the “Israeli-controlled” Golan Heights, is likely to win praise from Tel Aviv and draw condemnation from Damascus, which seeks to retake the territory it lost in 1967.

The US State Department has dropped references to the Israeli occupation in its 2018 human rights report on Israel, the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza.

In contrast with earlier reports, the new paper does not describe the Golan Heights as an “occupied” area, watering down the wording, which now says the region is “Israeli-controlled”.

It comes as yet another sign of Washington’s growing support of Israel: earlier this week, US Senator Lindsey Graham said, after a tour of the disputed region, that he would push the Trump administration to formally recognise it as part of Israel.

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