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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu names Golan Heights establishment after US President Donald Trump

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu names Golan Heights establishment after US President Donald Trump
Highlights

According to Netanyahu, naming Golan Heights after Trump constitutes a gesture of respect for the US President's actions, which include recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

TEL AVIV: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced the establishment of 'Ramat Trump', a new Golan Heights community named after the US President, the media reported.

"We're going to establish a new community, something that hasn't happened in many years, and in honour of President Donald Trump," the Haaretz newspaper quoted Netanyahu as saying on Sunday during a government meeting, adding that this was a historic day.

According to the Prime Minister, naming of the establishment after Trump constitutes a gesture of respect for the US President's actions "for the good of the state of Israel in a wide variety of areas", which include recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights - a move that was criticized by the international community.

The meeting, which took place at the Golan Heights, was followed by a sign unveiling ceremony for the establishment.

Trump later took to Twitter to thank Netanyahu and his government on the move, saying: "Thank you PM Netanyahu and the State of Israel for this great honour."

Trump's also retweeted a tweet by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who wrote about the ceremony on his Twitter handle.

"A great day on the Golan. PM Netanyahu and I had the honour to dedicate 'Trump Heights' - first time Israel has dedicated a village in honour of a sitting President since Harry Truman (1949).

Happy Birthday Mr. President," Friedman said in his tweet.

According to a government proposal, the establishment will be part of the Golan Regional Council and will be built in the extant Kela Alon community, in which dozens of families already live, reports the Haaretz.

The plan would see 'Ramat Trump' established in what is now the Bruchim neighbourhood, in which a few families live.

But despite the fanfare, the current government is temporary and cannot officially approve the establishment.

At this point, it can only start the administrative work on the project.

Last week, an event to "recognize America in the Golan" that was supposed to be organised by Netanyahu and Friedman was cancelled a few days before it was supposed to take place.

According to the head of the Golan Regional Council, Haim Rokah, it was cancelled due to "dissolving the Knesset (Parliament), governmental reasons and legal problems that were out of our control".

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