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VIDEO: Israel wants to name Golan Heights town after Trump, Netanyahu says

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday, March 25, 2019, to the South Portico entrance of the White House. (Shealah Craighead/White House )
April 23, 2019

Israel says it will name a town after President Trump for his support of Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that he will introduce a resolution to name the town for Trump in honor of his “historic decision,” Reuters reported on Tuesday.

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

“In honor of President Trump, who recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan, will soon call for a settlement in the Golan Heights in his name,” Netanyahu also tweeted in Hebrew.

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Golan Heights was formerly a part of Syria, and seized by Israel during the 1967 Arab War. Israel has since maintained control over the 690-square-mile-region and the territory has been recognized internationally as Israel’s.

Syria attempted to reclaim the region five years later during the 1973 Middle East War, but Israel repelled the attack.

On March 21, Trump indicated via tweet his intention to formally recognize Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

“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,” he said.

Shortly later, Netanyahu tweeted a response, saying, “At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump!”

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Trump signed an official proclamation days later on March 25, saying that the decision came decades later than it should have.

“We hold the high ground and we shall never give it up,” Netanyahu said at the time, adding that the proclamation marked “a historic day” and helped make the Israel-U.S. alliance “stronger and greater than ever.”

Syria’s Foreign Ministry, however, called the move a “blatant attack on [Syria’s] sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticized the proclamation, insisting it would exacerbate tensions in the region.

“This could lead to a new wave of tensions…such things, they are outside the law for they ignore all international efforts…unfortunately, they can only aggravate the situation,” Zakharova said.

The proclamation came shortly before the Israeli elections, where Netanyahu secured his fifth term as prime minister. His win and continued popularity have been attributed by some to his close ties with President Trump.