An old military vehicle positioned on the Israeli side of the border with Syria, near the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, Feb. 11, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.

U.S. special envoy for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt said on Thursday it is “cynical” to label this week’s U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights as a move to boost Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election chances just weeks before Israelis go to the polls on April 9.

“That’s a cynical response,” Greenblatt told JNS. “This is necessary for the safety of Israel. We see more and more security risks coming from the north. People will define it the way they want to define it, but what I think President Trump did was absolutely the right decision.”

On Monday, the president signed a proclamation to make what he tweeted last week become official.

“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!” he posted on Twitter.

Greenblatt reiterated to JNS on Thursday that the move was “a necessary announcement,” and “historic and bold,” similar to the United States officially recognizing Jerusalem in December 2017 as Israel’s capital, followed by the relocation of the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv in May 2018.

Greenblatt and his team are expected to release their highly anticipated Mideast plan after the Israeli elections.

JNS managing director and Jerusalem Bureau Chief Alex Traiman contributed to this report.