Netanyahu To Name Israeli Settlement In Golan Heights ‘Trump Heights’
Israel plans to name a new settlement in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights after President Donald Trump, Settlements Minister Tzipi Hotovely said earlier this month.
Golan Heights, which was captured from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed in 1981, will soon house Ramat Trump — or “Trump Heights” — to house 300 families.
Israel’s history of annexation, which is typically illegal under international law, has prompted recent scrutiny as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his intention to annex the West Bank.
The White House has not officially reached a decision regarding Israeli annexation, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it’s ultimately up to Israel to decide.
However, the administration does recognize the annexation of Golan Heights as legitimate, under a Trump executive order from March last year.
The Israeli government’s settlement plan, which will cost an estimated 8 million shekels ($2.3 million) began last year when Netanyahu brought his cabinet to the 300-person town of Qela to rebrand the community as a token of appreciation towards Trump.
Qela’s original neighborhood of Bruchim, which is home to less than a dozen people, will become Trump Heights.
There are dozen of Israeli settlements in the Golan, with the population of just under 50,000 nearly evenly split between Jewish settlers and Arabs, mainly from the Druze sect of Shiite Islam.