Israel announces Golan Heights settlement to be named after Trump

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has inaugurated a small settlement named after President Donald Trump in the occupied Golan Heights territory.

Netanyahu’s cabinet gathered Sunday in the Golan Heights to announce that Israel intends to pass a resolution establishing the new town known as “Ramat Trump,” which is Hebrew for “Trump Heights.” The country is hoping the settlement, an area that’s decades old and has a population of 10 people, will expand to new residents thanks to the renaming, according to Politico.

“President Trump is a very great friend of the country, a friend who did things for the country that were not done in the past and should have been done in the name of justice and truth,” Netanyahu said Sunday, The Times of Israel reported.

The decision to rebrand the settlement came after Trump’s executive order earlier this year recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights territory, marking a huge shift from more than 50 years of U.S. policy. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed the plateau in 1981. Most of the international community considered Israel’s move illegal under international law and views the Golan Heights as an occupied territory.

13 PHOTOS
Golan Heights settlement named after Donald Trump
See Gallery
Golan Heights settlement named after Donald Trump
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony to unveil a sign for a new community named after U.S. President Donald Trump, in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights June 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony to unveil a sign for a new community named after U.S. President Donald Trump, in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights June 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, Sara, attends a ceremony to unveil a sign for a new community named after U.S. President Donald Trump, in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights June 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a ceremony to unveil a sign for a new community named after U.S. President Donald Trump, in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights June 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) attends the unveiling ceremony for the new settlement of "Ramat Trump", or "Trump Heights" in English, named after the incumbent US President, in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on June 16, 2019 - Netanyahu unveiled a "Trump Heights" sign to mark the site of the new settlement, which comes after the US president in late March recognised Israeli sovereignty over the part of the strategic plateau it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day war. (Photo by Jalaa MAREY / AFP) (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman (C) and his wife Tami (L) attend the unveiling ceremony for the new settlement of "Ramat Trump", or "Trump Heights" in English, named after the incumbent US President, in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on June 16, 2019 - Netanyahu unveiled a "Trump Heights" sign to mark the site of the new settlement, which comes after the US president in late March recognised Israeli sovereignty over the part of the strategic plateau it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day war. (Photo by Jalaa MAREY / AFP) (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) gives a speech before the newly-unveiled sign for the new settlement of "Ramat Trump", or "Trump Heights" in English, named after the incumbent US President during an official ceremony in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on June 16, 2019. - Netanyahu unveiled a "Trump Heights" sign to mark the site of the new settlement, which comes after the US president in late March recognised Israeli sovereignty over the part of the strategic plateau it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day war. (Photo by Jalaa MAREY / AFP) (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)
(L to R) US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, his wife Tami, Sara Netanyahu, and her husband Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pose for a picture before the newly-unveiled sign for the new settlement of "Ramat Trump", or "Trump Heights" in English, named after the incumbent US President during an official ceremony in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on June 16, 2019. - Sara Netanyahu was on June 16 convicted of fraudulently using state funds for meals, under a plea bargain which dropped more severe charges. On the same day, her husband unveiled a "Trump Heights" sign to mark the site of the new settlement, after the US president in late March recognised Israeli sovereignty over the part of the strategic plateau it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day war. (Photo by Jalaa MAREY / AFP) (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C), his cabinet secretary Tzachi Braverman (R), and the US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman attend a meeting of the Israeli cabinet in the settlement of Qela Bruchim in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on June 16, 2019 - Netanyahu unveiled a "Trump Heights" sign to mark the site of the new settlement, which comes after the US president in late March recognised Israeli sovereignty over the part of the strategic plateau it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day war. (Photo by Jalaa MAREY / AFP) (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman gives a speech before the newly-unveiled sign for the new settlement of "Ramat Trump", or "Trump Heights" in English, named after the incumbent US President, during an official ceremony in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on June 16, 2019 - Netanyahu unveiled a "Trump Heights" sign to mark the site of the new settlement, which comes after the US president in late March recognised Israeli sovereignty over the part of the strategic plateau it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day war. (Photo by Jalaa MAREY / AFP) (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman (L) look on during the unveiling of the place-name sign for the new settlement of "Ramat Trump", or "Trump Heights" in English, named after the incumbent US President, during an official ceremony in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on June 16, 2019. - Netanyahu unveiled a "Trump Heights" sign to mark the site of the new settlement, which comes after the US president in late March recognised Israeli sovereignty over the part of the strategic plateau it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day war. (Photo by Jalaa MAREY / AFP) (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman (L) look on during the unveiling of the place-name sign for the new settlement of "Ramat Trump", or "Trump Heights" in English, named after the incumbent US President, during an official ceremony in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on June 16, 2019. - Netanyahu unveiled a "Trump Heights" sign to mark the site of the new settlement, which comes after the US president in late March recognised Israeli sovereignty over the part of the strategic plateau it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day war. (Photo by Jalaa MAREY / AFP) (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convenes his Cabinet with United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman to inaugurate a new settlement named after President Donald Trump in a gesture of appreciation for the U.S. leader's recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Sunday, June 16, 2019. The Trump name graces apartment towers, hotels and golf courses. Now it is the namesake of a tiny Jewish settlement in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Israel has been urging residents to settle in the Golan Heights, though the location is several hours from the main hub of Tel Aviv and reportedly has very little industry. The eight-year Syrian civil war occurring just miles away from the territory could discourage new residents from coming in.

The last time Israel named a settlement after an American president was in 1949, when the country named Kfar Truman after President Harry Truman, according to U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Truman was the first U.S. president to recognize Israel as a country.

Though Netanyahu said the country will establish the community, his cabinet’s resolution that passed actually stated that the government cannot make such a decision during an election period, according to Axios. Netanyahu is currently running for reelection in Israel’s Sept. 17 election.

The cabinet did decide that the Ministry of Housing will start preliminary planning work. Until then, Netanyahu has placed a large sign displaying the name of the settlement that will eventually be established as “Ramat Trump.”

An opposition lawmaker said before the Sunday event that the Israeli government was using the inauguration ceremony as a publicity stunt, according to The Times of Israel.

“Anyone who reads the fine print in this ‘historic’ decision will understand that this is nothing more than a nonbinding, fake policy,” said Zvi Hauser, a member of the Knesset from the Blue and White party and former Cabinet secretary to Netanyahu. “There is no budgeting, no planning, no location for a settlement, and there is no binding decision to implement the project. But at least they insisted on a name for the settlement.”

The sign worked. In a tweet Sunday, Trump thanked Netanyahu and Israel for the settlement rebranded under his name.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.