Israel announces first steps to building town in Golan Heights and naming it after President Trump.

June 15, 2020

Exactly one year ago, Israel’s government announced they would build a settlement in Golan Heights and name it ‘Trump Heights’ in honor of President Donald Trump, after the president recognized the 690 square miles (1,800 square kilometres) as sovereignty of the Jewish State.

The move was rejected by the Arab League and criticized by the U.N., who consider the Golan Heights to be Syrian territory’s and illegally occupied by Israel.

Israel, on the other hand, claims that the territory is theirs after capturing it during the Six-Day war in 1967, where they defeated the armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon.

Although Israel officially annexed the Golan in 1981, it is reported that in 2010, under then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Israel considered withdrawing its troops from the territory in exchange for a new peace proposal with Syria.

Ultimately, no such deal was ever materialized.

Last year, Trump tweeted that “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”

The following day, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs posted a tweet of their own that stated,  “France does not recognize the Israeli annexation of 1981. The recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, an occupied territory, would be contrary to international law.”

Three days later, on March 25, 2019, president Trump signed a presidential proclamation that the United States officially recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel. 

In appreciation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Trump a “true friend” of Israel — not only for recognizing the Golan Heights, but also for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and for moving its U.S. embassy to the biblical city.

On June 14, 2020, Netanyahu said Israel would “begin practical steps in establishing the community of Ramat Trump on the Golan Heights, Israel’s sovereignty over which was recognized by President Trump”.

According to a Facebook message posted by Israel’s Settlements Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, her ministry will begin preparations for “Trump Heights,” which will house about 300 families.

The estimated budget for the project will be $2.3 million USD.

Netanyahu also took the opportunity to thank Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for “their stand on the side of truth and justice” after the Trump Administration made the decision to sanction the International Criminal Court.

According to Netanyahu, The Hague is “hostile toward Israel, the US and other democracies that respect human rights.”

The prime minister called out the court for its hypocrisy, saying “it ignores other countries that violate human rights, especially – of course – the terrorist regime in Iran.”

Netanyahu also accused the court of inventing “absurd accusations against the State of Israel, including the scandalous claim that the presence of Jews in the heart of our homeland constitutes a war crime.”

Israeli figures estimate that 50,000 people already live in the Golan Heights. This figure includes some 22,000 Jewish settlers and about 25,000 Arab Druze residents.