Israel announced on Sunday the approval of plans to build a new town in the Golan Heights named after U.S. President Donald Trump.
Trump Heights was so named in June of last year in honor of the American administration’s official recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights.
At the start of Sunday’s Cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Today, we will begin practical steps in establishing the community of Trump Heights on the Golan Heights, Israel’s sovereignty over which was recognized by President Trump.”
Settlement Affairs Minister Tzipi Hotoveley wrote on Facebook: “Today, the government approved the decision on the establishment of Trump Heights on the Golan Heights and the Ministry of Settlement Affairs began its work on providing approval to make it suitable for 300 families.”
Hotoveley, who will serve as Israel’s next ambassador to the United Kingdom, went on to state that settlement of the Golan, “an area whose historical (Jewish) roots extend back to the days of the Hasmoneans,” was “in line with the concept of helping the land flourish.”
Netanyahu also sent President Trump a birthday message via Twitter, writing: “Happy birthday President Donald Trump! You’ve been an INCREDIBLE friend to Israel and you’ve done extraordinary things for the Jewish state for which we are eternally grateful.
“Here’s just a brief list: You recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moved your embassy there, recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, withdrew the U.S. from the dangerous Iran nuclear deal, exposed the corrupt and biased ICC … and put forward your Vision for Peace which gives hope for peace, security and prosperity in our region. Thank you for your historic leadership, Mr. President!”
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 war and then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin annexed the area in 1981. In March 2019, President Trump signed an Executive Order recognizing the important strategic plateau as being under Israeli sovereignty.