Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet convened in this hamlet Sunday, June 16, to inaugurate a new settlement named after President Donald Trump in a gesture to honor President Trump for his decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the territory, according to AP.
Speaking at the ceremony, Netanyahu called President Trump a “great friend” of Israel and described the Golan, which overlooks northern Israel, as an important strategic asset.
Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman unveiled a sign trimmed in gold with the name “Trump Heights” and adorned with U.S. and Israeli flags.
Israel is hoping the rebranded “Ramat Trump” meaning “Trump Heights” in Hebrew will encourage a wave of residents to vastly expand it.
Netanyahu tweeted, “Establishing a new community in the Golan Heights named after a friend of Israel, US President. A historic day.”
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) June 16, 2019
Friedman also tweeted: “A great day on the Golan. PM Netanyahu and I had the honor to dedicate “Trump Heights” — first time Israel has dedicated a village in honor of a sitting president since Harry Truman (1949). Happy Birthday Mr. President!!”
Speaking at the ceremony, he said, “It’s absolutely beautiful. ” “I can’t think of a more appropriate and a more beautiful birthday present.” he added.
A great day on the Golan. PM Netanyahu and I had the honor to dedicate “Trump Heights” — first time Israel has dedicated a village in honor of a sitting president since Harry Truman (1949). Happy Birthday Mr. President!! @POTUS pic.twitter.com/fdYWzokFLK
— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) June 16, 2019
President Trump replied in a tweet: “Thank you Mr. Prime Minister, a great honor!”
The United States was the first country to recognize this controversial sovereignty in March. The decision was widely praised in Israel.
In the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel captured and annexed the Golan Heights from Syria in 1981.
The region is located about 40 miles southwest of Damascus, the Syrian capital, and covers about 400 square miles. The new settlement is expected to be built near Kela in the northern Golan Heights.
“Trump Heights” joins a number of Israeli places named after American presidents, including a village for Harry S. Truman, who first recognized the Jewish state, and George W. Bush Plaza, a square the size of a modest living room in central Jerusalem, according to AP.