Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has unveiled an illegal settlement in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights named after US President Donald Trump.
Netanyahu yesterday inaugurated the settlement – called “Ramat Trump”, Hebrew for “Trump Heights” – hailing the US President as a “great friend” of Israel. The development will extend the existing settlement of Bruchim, located in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights captured by Israel during the war of 1967.
Earlier this year, President Trump unilaterally recognised the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, ignoring international law under which it remains occupied territory. Yesterday’s move has been touted as Israel’s attempt to honour and thank President Trump for his decision.
Netanyahu yesterday echoed this sentiment, calling the event an “historic day” and telling a government meeting that “we’re going to establish a new community, something that hasn’t happened in many years, and in honour of President Donald Trump”.
President Trump responded to the inauguration, writing on Twitter “Thank you PM Netanyahu and the State of Israel for this great honor!
The decision to name a town after President Trump was first taken in April, just a month after President Trump announced the US would recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The President’s decision was vehemently criticised by the international community, including Russia, Tunisia and other Arab states.
The move was also seen as the latest in a series of US decisions favouring Israel, namely the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and moving the US embassy to the Holy City in May 2018.
Source: The Middle East Monitor.