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Dublin: 4°C Thursday 13 May 2021

Trump Heights: Israel names Golan Heights settlement after Donald Trump

Israeli prime minister inaugurated the new settlement on Sunday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveils "Trump Heights". Source: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu has launched a new settlement in Golan Heights named after US President Donald Trump. 

Netanyahu unveiled a ‘Trump Heights’ sign, featuring an Israeli and an US flag, to mark the site of the new settlement.

Trump has already responded to the new settlement. “Thank you PM @netanyahu and the State of Israel for this great honor!” he tweeted.

In March, Trump recognised Israeli sovereignty over the territory. Israel annexed the area after seizing it from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War in a move never recognised by the international community. 

“The Golan is Israeli and will remain so always,” Netanyahu declared.

He called Trump “a very great friend of Israel who has taken a decision that has never before been taken”.

US ambassador to Israel David Friedman was also present at the naming ceremony. The naming “is an extraordinary gesture”, Friedman said.

The settlement to be built on the site of a former kibbutz, which was established in 1984. A kibbutz is a form of collective agricultural commune that spread across Israel in the 20th century.

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Netanyahu promised that the Israeli government would invest in building homes and roads in the Golan Heights area, as well as in education and tourism facilities.

Some 23,000 Druze – an Arab Muslim minority also present in Syria and Lebanon – live in the occupied and annexed portion of the Golan, while 25,000 Israeli settlers have arrived there since 1967.

Netanyahu also said Trump had proven “once again his commitment to the security and the future of Israel”. In May 2018, Trump transferred the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

This decision broke with decades of international consensus not to recognise the city as the capital of Israel. Israel considers the entire city its capital, but the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

© – AFP 2019

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