President Donald Trump shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 26, 2018, at U.N. Headquarters.
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 26, 2018, at U.N. Headquarters.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington looking for an electoral advantage from U.S. President Donald Trump's expected formal recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights.

Netanyahu, facing corruption charges and a tough re-election contest April 9, is meeting Monday with Trump at the White House and having dinner there on Tuesday, sandwiched around a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a major U.S. lobbying group for the Jewish state.

FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, March 3, 2019.
Israel’s PM to Meet Trump 3 Weeks Before Election
Benjamin Netanyahu looks to give his Likud party a boost before Israeli polls

Trump said on Twitter last week that he would recognize the Israeli ownership of the Golan Heights, the territory to the northeast of Israel along the Syrian border that was seized by Israel from Syria in the Six-Day War in 1967 and annexed in 1981.

Trump's stance breaks with long-standing U.S. policy and the international community, which considers the Golan Heights as Israeli-occupied, not a sovereign holding.  

지난해 이스라엘 점령지역인 골란 고원의 마즈달 샴스 마을 앞에 이스라엘 국기가 펄럭이고 있다.
World Leaders Blast Trump's Call to Recognize Israel's Sovereignty Over Golan Heights
World leaders are criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement that the United States will recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.Syria's foreign ministry said Friday Trump's announcement is "irresponsible" and does not change "the fact that the Golan was and will remain Arab and Syrian." A foreign ministry source told Syria's official news agency SANA the announcement "clearly reflects the United States' contempt for international legitimacy and its flagrant violation of U.S. …

"President Trump will sign tomorrow in the presence of PM Netanyahu an order recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights," Foreign Minister Israel Katz wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

Netanyahu is lagging in political surveys ahead of next month's election.  His main rival, former military chief Benny Gantz, is speaking at the annual AIPAC convention on Monday, but only Netanyahu will be at the White House dinner on Tuesday.

Trump compared his decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights as similar to that of his decision last year to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, another stance at odds with the international community. Israel claims Jerusalem as its eternal and indivisible capital, but the Palestinians have also staked a claim on Jerusalem as their capital in any eventual creation of a Palestinian state.

FILE - Benny Gantz, a former Israeli armed forces chief and head of the Israel Resilience party, arrives to deliver his first political speech at the party campaign launch in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 29, 2019.
Netanyahu Rival: Israel Should Not Control Palestinians
The leading challenger to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a published interview Wednesday that Israel should "find a way" to end its control over the Palestinians.Former military chief Benny Gantz made the comments in an interview with the Ynet news site. It was his first interview with the Israeli media since his maiden political speech last week.Gantz, a former general, has shot up in opinion polls since last week's speech.

Netanyahu, in the run-up to the election, has stressed his friendship with Trump.

"Our alliance in recent years has never been stronger," the Israeli leader said last week as he met in Jerusalem with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  "It is an unbreakable bond.  It is based on shared values of liberty and democracy and shared interest to fight the enemies of democracy, the enemies of our way of life, the terrorists that prowl our airspace and our countries, and working together we have been able to achieve an enormous amount."

Trump's Golan Heights announcement came shortly after Pompeo visited the Western Wall, one of Judaism's holiest sites in Palestinian east Jerusalem, with Netanyahu, the first time such a high-ranking U.S. official had visited the site with an Israeli leader.