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Netanyahu seeks to name new Golan settlement after Trump

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) holds a proclamation signed by US President Donald Trump recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, during a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on 14 April, 2019 [RONEN ZVULUN/AFP/Getty Images]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) holds a proclamation signed by US President Donald Trump recognising Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, during a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on 14 April, 2019 [RONEN ZVULUN/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced yesterday that he hopes to name a new illegal settlement in the occupied Golan Heights after US President Donald Trump.

In a video uploaded to social media, Netanyahu said he would be proposing the name to government as a way to “to express our appreciation” to Trump.

In late March, Trump declared that his administration would recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan Heights, declaring the area “Israeli controlled”.

“All Israelis were deeply moved when President Trump made his historic decision to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” Netanyahu said.

The Golan move by Trump came after a decision to recognise Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel in December 2017. Subsequently the US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Holy City.

Trump has shifted the US foreign policy towards Israel from mediation to outright support since taking presidency.

By way of appreciation, Israel has also said it intends to name a proposed train station near Jerusalem’s Western Wall after him.

The Golan Heights is a strategic area of land, seized from Syria in 1967 during the Arab-Israeli war. It was later annexed in 1981. The Heights are at a high altitude, which gives the Israeli government a deep view into Syria.

READ: US issues new map showing Golan Heights as Israel territory

The unprecedented move caused an international backlash from Arab states and UN Security Council member states. The EU, France, and the UK stated that they maintained their statements on the illegality of Israel’s 1981 annexation.

The annexation of the Golan in 1981 is considered illegal under international law.

At a UN Security Council meeting in March this year, members stressed that international law must be upheld over the Golan even in light of the US move to recognise Israeli sovereignty.

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