Israel's PM Netanyahu says he will name a Golan town after Donald Trump
Trump, in a presidential proclamation on March 25, announced that the United States recognized Israeli sovereignty over the strategic plateau.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said that he intends to name a new settlement in the disputed Golan Heights after President Donald Trump. Netanyahu, fresh off his victory said that he wants to make the move in an attempt to honor Trump's recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan.
Trump, in a presidential proclamation on March 25, announced that the United States recognized Israeli sovereignty over the strategic plateau, which was captured by Israel from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and was later annexed in 1981. Syria, after Trump's announcement, said that the US decision was a "blatant attack on its sovereignty."
The move, which has not been recognized internationally, represented a dramatic change in policy that assisted Netanyahu to secure a fifth term in office in the recent Israeli elections.
Netanyahu, in a video message posted on YouTube, said: "All Israelis were deeply moved when President Trump made his historic decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Therefore, after the Passover holiday, I intend to bring to the government a resolution calling for a new community on the Golan Heights named after President Donald J. Trump.”
Washington, for decades, had not recognized Israel's sovereignty over the Golan, however, Trump announced his decision to overturn the long-held US policy in a tweet on March 21.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 during the Six-Day War. The area's 690 square miles today are considered a buffer zone between the two nations. The United Nations called on Israel to withdraw from the territory and from the West Bank and Gaza in a resolution. However, Israel enacted a law that annexed the western two-thirds of the Golan Heights in 1981 after years of arguing over the UN resolution.
The UN later passed another resolution declaring that "the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect."
When former president Barack Obama was in office, the US — three years ago — voted in favor of a Security Council statement expressing deep concern that Netanyahu had declared that Israel would never relinquish the Golan. Meanwhile, Syria has maintained its stance on not agreeing to a peace deal with Israel unless it withdraws from the whole of the Golan.