Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced at a cabinet meeting over the weekend that Israel is preparing to start a new housing development in the Golan Heights named after President Donald Trump.
According to CBN News, Settlement Minister Tzipi Hotovely also confirmed the move on Facebook, saying the community will be named “Ramat Trump,” which is Hebrew for “Trump Heights.”
Israel claimed the formerly Syrian Golan Heights after a war in 1967. They formally annexed the region in 1981. According to Time Magazine, most of the “international community” believes the annexation is illegal “under international law.” However, Trump signed an executive order in March 2019 stating that the United States recognized the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.
During the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said his nation would “begin practical steps in establishing the community of Ramat Trump on the Golan Heights, Israel’s sovereignty over which was recognized by President Trump.
Trump made the announcement during a Netanyahu visit to the United States in the leadup to last year’s elections in Israel. Netanyahu announced the decision to name the new settlement after Trump on the President’s 74th birthday. Netanyahu tweeted, “Happy Birthday President @realDonaldTrump! You’ve been an INCREDIBLE friend to Israel and you’ve done extraordinary things for the Jewish state for which we are eternally grateful.”
Netanyahu views the settlement’s name as a token of thanks for what the President has done for Israel. President Trump previously reversed decades of American foreign policy and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. embassy there.
The Israeli plan will set aside $2.3 million to develop the town, which will be located in the town of Qela, which has a population of 300. The new settlement is in a neighborhood that was originally called “Bruchim.” According to Al Jazeera, 22,000 Jewish settlers and 25,000 Arab residents live in the Golan Heights. Most of the Arabs are of the Druze branch of Shiite Muslims.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Amir Levy/Stringer
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”