Israel inaugurates settlement in Golan Heights to honor Trump

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JERUSALEM, June 17 (Xinhua/GNA) — Israel’s government inaugurated on Sunday a new settlement in the annexed Golan Heights named after the country’s close ally, U.S. President Donald Trump.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a sign with the name of the settlement, Ramat Trump, or “Trump Heights,” in Hebrew.

 The ceremony was held as part of a special cabinet meeting at the site, attended by senior ministers, officials with the Golan Heights regional council, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

 “We are on a historic day,” Netanyahu told his audience. “We are

going to establish a new settlement in the Golan Heights, a move

that hasn’t been taken many years… and to honor a great friend

of the State of Israel, President Donald Trump.”

 He added that the move comes after Trump recognized in March

Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, an originally-Syrian

land.

 Friedman said the Golan Heights is “incredibly important

territory for Israel.”

 He praises Trump, saying “it almost never happens anywhere in

the world that an entire community is dedicated in the name of a

sitting president.”

 Israel seized the Golan from Syria during the 1967 Middle East

war and annexed it in 1981, in a move that had never been

recognized by any world power until Trump’s recent statement.

 The U.S. president recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

in December 2017, another controversial move defying the

international standing on the issue. Israel captured East

Jerusalem, a predominantly Palestinian area, in the 1967 war.

 The move triggered a wave of violence between Israel and the

Palestinians.

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